The case raises an interesting question, one that has implications well beyond the abortion context: to what extent should the Court defer to Congressional factual findings that themselves effectively determine the scope of the constitutional right at issue? As the Daily Standard points out, this question is similar to one the Court has struggled with in its federalism cases. (The case also bears a more obvious relationship to those cases. As the Cato Institute noted today in the New York Times, many view the law as an inappropriately expansive and intrusive use of Congress's regulatory power).
Another issue to watch: as Erwin Chemerinsky notes here, because the Court struck down a virtually identical law just six years ago in Stenberg v. Carhart, Carhart also will give us a peek at Chief Justice Roberts' and Justice Alito's commitment to precedent. Professor Chemerinsky also ponders whether Justice Kennedy, a dissenter in Stenberg but now the Court's new "swing" justice, will try to find a way to invalidate the federal law without overturning Stenberg.
Scotusblog notes that C-Span's web radio will be broadcasting the oral arguments.