The announcement prompted reactions from politicians and notable figures but also from institutions like Harvard, Garland's alma mater.
Republicans have said the appointment should be left to whoever is elected as Obama's successor. Notably, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had previously stated he would refuse to hold a hearing should the president make a nomination, reiterated those sentiments Wednesday.
"It is a president's constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice and it is the Senate's constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold its consent," he said on the Senate floor soon after the announcement.
Democrats, on the other hand, said that Senate Republicans were consulted before the nomination was made. They are using the hashtag #DoYourJob in a call for an approval hearing to be held by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Here are highlights of what's being said about the nomination on both sides of the aisle.
While I will evaluate the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, the next president should be the one to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court— Jim Inhofe (@jiminhofe) March 16, 2016
Statement on President Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court: pic.twitter.com/GTcLMLyS6I— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 16, 2016
Merrick Garland is an outstanding choice for SCOTUS. A protector of civil rights and individual liberties. He MUST get a vote. #Doyourjob!— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) March 16, 2016
The President kept his word. Chief Judge Garland's credentials are unquestionable. Independent mind and mastery of the law. #SCOTUSnominee— Vice President Biden (@VP) March 16, 2016