This from WaPo:
"Oral argument in the case, Gonzales v. Carhart , No. 05-380, is likely to take place during the run-up to the 2006 congressional elections"
On the contrary, I'd be surprised if it wasn't scheduled for later, in November, to avoid the politics. In any case, the decision won't come down till 2007.
Betting seems to be that O'Connor's departure tips the balance on this issue and has triggered the granting of cert.
I speculate that another opening will occur on the Court soon after the elections. Most likely Stevens. Given the obvious willingness of the Court to revisit this law, and if the Republicans retain the Senate (likely), can Roe long stand?