The Washington Post previews the same-sex dimension to the SCOTUS nominee hearings today, suggesting marriage may replace abortion as the hot button issue on which the hearings center:
Questions on social issues in confirmation hearings have tended for the past 30 years to focus squarely on abortion, with partisans from both sides poring over a nominee's writings and rulings and presidents typically denying that any "litmus test" was employed in the selection.

Same-sex marriage carries the same freighted potential to dominate a hearing, conservatives say.

"It is now the flash point where politics and law meet. That flash point used to be abortion. I don't think anybody thinks that's going to be the flash point in this nomination," said William A. Jacobson, a Cornell University law professor and conservative blogger.

Same-sex will undoubtedly be more prominent at the hearings than the last time a liberal was nominated to the court in 1994. But I highly doubt somehow gay marriage will take the place of abortion, especially if the nomination of Dawn Johnsen as head of the Office of Legal Counsel is any indication.