To fill the vacancy left by deceased Justice Antonin Scalia the President has chosen just about the least controversial and most confirmable candidate to put on the Supreme Court.
Instead of a liberal firebrand Obama has opted for federal appeals judge Merrick Garland, a centrist with nearly two decades of judicial experience,
Obama said while announcing his choice from the Rose Garden at the White House
"I said I would take this process seriously, and I did. The one name that has come up repeatedly -- from Republicans and Democrats alike -- is Merrick Garland."
Garland who was visibly emotional when Obama gave him the microphone said of the honor…
"This is the greatest honor of my life, other than Lynn agreeing to marry me more than 20 years ago. For me there could be no higher service than serving as a member of the United States Supreme Court."
Garland, an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, has a lengthy résumé in public service including stints in the Department of Justice and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit where he has served there since 1997 and is now the chief judge. The court where Garland presently serves is widely regarded as second only to the Supreme Court.
Most pundits as well as law proffesors agree that Garland would not bring any liberal bias to the Supreme Court given his age and his moderate record.
SCOTUSblog publisher Tom Goldstein in 2010, when the White House was vettting him for a seat on the high court has said…
"Judge Garland's record demonstrates that he is essentially the model, neutral judge. He is acknowledged by all to be brilliant. His opinions avoid unnecessary, sweeping pronouncements."
Unswayed by this general opinion the Republicans have refused to even “sit down” with any nominee selected by the President most notably Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) who have repeatedly vowed to not even consider anyone the president nominates.
The GOP has instead decided the best course of action is to form their own "SCOTUS task force" to dig up dirt though opposition research to sully the reputations of any and all candidates that come before them.