In the weeks leading up to the nomination, many observers saw Garland, 63, as a consensus pick for the president—a judge who, despite a long paper trail and tenure on the bench, has kept a low public profile and isn’t known for staking out controversial positions.

Speaking from the Rose Garden, President Barack Obama said Garland was widely considered “one of America’s sharpest legal minds” and was known for his “deep and abiding passion for protecting our most basic constitutional rights.”

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