Now we know the name of the person President Obama will seek to put on the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by Justice Scalia.

Although President Obama previously considered nominating Judge Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court but instead went with Justice Sotomayor, Garland was something of a surprise when the nomination  was announced this morning. The only thing definite I've seen about him so far is that he is very liberal on the Second Amendment.

John Yoo, law professor and a key official in the George W. Bush Department of Justice,  says that this nomination shows that President Obama is willing to compromise with the Republican-held Senate (or perhaps he simply recognizes they have a good hand) but that the Republicans should hold firm: no hearings.

He argues:

Choosing Garland indicates that President Obama hopes a moderate choice can get through the Senate. He has put aside the opportunity to choose a nominee who had no chance, but could be a convenient point of attack in the presidential campaign. Nevertheless, Senate Republicans should keep Justice Scalia’s seat open at least until the November elections. The Senate has rarely confirmed Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year, especially when opposite parties have controlled the Senate and the White House.

The Constitution does not require the Senate to confirm anyone; it only requires the Senate’s advice and consent before the president can appoint a justice to office. The Republicans can await the outcome of the elections. If a Republican wins the presidency, then the people will have spoken in favor of replacing Justice Scalia with another conservative. If a Democrat wins, the Senate could confirm Garland or await a pick from Clinton or Sanders. But in either case, the American people will have had a say in filling a seat on a Court that has seized more and more issues from the political process. It is the least that democracy requires.

Allahpundit captures the dilemma into which President Obama may have thrown Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with this nomination:

Crafty of O to wait until the morning after Trump’s backbreaking wins last night to stick McConnell with this. Now Senate Republicans will face maximum pressure from both sides.

If they cave and decide to give Garland a hearing after all, Republican voters who are still cool to Trump might decide to vote for him in a burst of “burn it all down” rage. A betrayal here hands Trump the nomination — assuming there’s any doubt that he’s already on track to win it.

If, on the other hand, McConnell stands firm, he’s blowing an opportunity to confirm a nominee who’s likely to be more “moderate” than what President Hillary will offer next year. The conventional wisdom on Trump right now is that he’s a dead duck in the general election barring some sort of national crisis. I don’t agree with it, but it’s not out of left field.

Obama is taking a gamble too–he might have waited and hoped that Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would nominate someone more radical. But on theother hand, you can't count out a GOP victory. If Senator Ted Cruz ended up with the nomination and went on to capture the presidency, a constitutional authority far less to President Obama's liking than Merrick Garland would be nominated.

Meanwhile, McConnell vows to stand firm and not hold hearings.