Eric Posner writes in Slate Merrick Garland would shift the Supreme Court left. A lot. and I agree with everything in the article. After pointing out the obvious, that swapping Scalia for Garland will change the 5-4 tide from conservative to liberal, and pointing out both sides overturn the other sides decisions, he concludes with:
Of all the bizarre and broken features of the American political system, the selection of Supreme Court justices tops the list. The justices claim the last word on the most controversial issues of our time—abortion, gun rights, religious freedom, affirmative action, gay marriage, campaign finance. Yet they are unelected, unaccountable, out of touch—drawn from a tiny elite of Ivy League–educated lawyers—and completely inexperienced in politics. Possibly to resolve the cognitive dissonance of elite rule in a democracy, the myth has arisen that the justices decide these issues by applying the “law” when in fact they apply their ideological commitments in legal guise. So powerful is this myth that it would be considered the highest breach of political etiquette for anyone to ask Judge Garland for his views on the very political controversies he will resolve. Not only are we denied the right to vote for or against this man who will decide these issues for the next two decades at least; we are not even allowed to know what he thinks.