President Obama named Merrick Garland as his Supreme Court nominee Wednesday.
"Of the many powers and responsibilities that the constitution invest in the presidency few are more consequential than appointing a Supreme Court justice," said Obama.
The 63-year-old chief judge in the Washington, D.C., appeals court has 19 years of experience in the U.S. Court of Appeals and reportedly several conservative fans.
Obama wrote in an email Wednesday: "In putting forward a nominee today, I am fulfilling my constitutional duty. I'm doing my job. I hope that our Senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee."
"I've said repeatedly, and I'm now confident my conference agrees, the decision [should] be made by the next president, whoever is elected," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
The GOP-controlled Senate has to approve the president's nomination, but many have said they don't plan on meeting with anyone nominated by Obama.
As of now, the court holds four conservative judges and four liberal ones. If approved, Garland might shift the balance of power toward the left.