The appellate judge enforces rights enumerated in the Constitution while deferring to legislatures and elected officials when the Constitution doesn’t speak clearly.
Obama set a trap for Republicans in the Senate, and dammit if they’re not going to jump right in and throw themselves on the punji sticks at the bottom.
Of all of the judges you’d expect a Democrat to nominate, Garland is among the most moderate, is a former cop, tends to vote on the side of law enforcement, and is respected (at least, behind closed doors) by people of both sides in Washington.
And my dear GOP is going to insist on forcing the nation to wait, and damn the gridlock it will cause on the SCOTUS calendar. Sorry. I cannot abide anyone playing ideological games with the Court, regardless of which side he or she sits on.
That said, it is fun watching both the far left and the far right go into conniptions about Garland.