And the nominee is ... Merrick Garland, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals! (Looks like my SCOTUS pick streak comes to an end -- but two out of three ain't bad). Garland wasn't the first choice of many liberals, but I think in retrospect it is highly likely that many of the younger guns (Kelly, Srinivasan, etc.) calculated that they have a better shot in the future then in this crap-shoot of an election year confirmation attempt. Garland, who's 63 years old, almost certainly knew it was now or never.
And with respect to liberal concerns, look -- Garland isn't a Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But he's not a Anthony Kennedy either. He'll be a reliable member of the Court's liberal bloc. There's a reason he's been the primary feeder of liberal Supreme Court clerks for years now. Replacing Justice Scalia with Justice Garland would be a tremendous move forward.
The other thing to say about Garland is that he really puts Senate Republicans in a pickle. It's not just that, as Chuck Schumer put it, if Garland can't garner bipartisan support than nobody can. It's how stark of a choice he puts in front of Republicans. The obstruct at all costs approach puts two outcomes on the horizon: either whichever 39 year old liberal ingenue Hillary Clinton nominates after 12 months of Republicans insisting that "this election is when the people decide!", or Donald Trump putting forward Judge Judy. Suddenly, a 63 year old conventional Democrat doesn't seem that bad, does it?
In any event, congratulations to Judge -- hopefully soon-to-be Justice -- Garland, who is a fantastic jurist and would make a great addition to the Court. May your confirmation process be smooth as is conceivably possible in these turbulent times.