Despite public apathy towards her, Elena Kagan was sliding towards confirmation. There was no big reason to oppose her and she was about as good a nominee as Republicans were likely to see from President Obama.
But now a federal judge in California has ruled that, as a matter of federal constitutional law, marriage cannot be restricted to one man and one woman. That decision will likely end up in the Supreme Court. To predict that this improves Republican prospects for the mid-terms is easy; gay marriage loses whenever people vote. But I wonder if it also puts pressure on sitting Republican senators (and, for that matter, Democratic senators from strongly anti-gay marriage states who need to get reelected in November) to oppose Kagan. The vote is scheduled for tomorrow, which means a lot would have to happen quickly.