Our side (to the degree that we still have one) sounds the alarm...:
“With Justice Scalia’s tragic passing, there is no longer a majority of support among the justices for the fundamental, individual right to own a firearm for self-defense. Four justices believe law-abiding Americans have that right – and four justices do not. Barack Obama has nothing but contempt for the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners,” Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement, remarking upon Obama’s past Supreme Court nominees and their own records on the issue.
Cox concluded that “a basic analysis of Merrick Garland’s judicial record shows that he does not respect our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.”
“Therefore, the National Rifle Association, on behalf of our five million members and tens of millions of supporters across the country, strongly opposes the nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court,” Cox said in the statement.
The statement follows the conservative Judicial Crisis Network announcing an additional $2 million ad campaign in opposition to Garland. Carrie Severino, who heads the group, pointed to Garland’s “history of general hostility to the Second Amendment,” in particular his decision to vote in favor of reviewing a ruling on a restrictive gun law that had already been struck down. The Supreme Court ultimately affirmed the circuit court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.
....and the other side revels in it:
There are two ways to think about the change. One is to compare Judge Garland, [Barack] Obama’s nominee, with Justice Scalia. The second is to think about how Mr. Garland might shift the court’s balance of power. His addition would make the justice at the center of the court more liberal than at any point in nearly fifty years. …
We don’t yet know exactly how Mr. Garland would vote if he joined the court.
The hell you don't.
But scholars believe that he will be substantially more liberal than Justice Scalia was. According to a ranking of Supreme Court and appeals court judges, Mr. Garland is expected to be ideologically similar to Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, Barack Obama’s previous picks for the Court. …
If his past record is predictive, and Mr. Garland earns confirmation and votes with the Court’s current liberal bloc, the new median justice will become Stephen Breyer....
What did I tell you just yesterday, folks?
....the most liberal median justice since 1937, when the scholarly rankings began. If Mr. Garland is more conservative than Justice Breyer but more liberal than Justice Kennedy, Mr. Garland would become the new median, the most liberal in nearly fifty years.
“For the first time in decades, the Court might swing to a Democrat Court,” said Lee Epstein, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis who measures and studies voting patterns on the Court. “It’s a major moment.” [All emphases added]
And as I gamed out for y'all, he's the best Scalia replacement option we're ever going to get, my fellow surviving conservatives.
I'll leave you with this maximalist bit of bitter irony from somebody's Twitter feed.