Judge Walker's decision creates some political challenges for the President, the California Governor's race, and the upcoming midterm elections. Others more expert than I can decide, but my guess is that this will help Republicans more than Democrats.
1. What will the Obama administration do? This case is on its way to the Supreme Court. President Obama could file a friend of the court brief at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear the first appeal, and the administration will almost certainly be asked its views by the Supreme Court if it hears the case. Obama, I believe, opposed gay marriage during the 2008 campaign. Will he, and his nominees to the Supreme Court, follow that view?
2. What will Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown do? I didn't realize this until I read Walker's decision, but Jerry Brown refused to defend Prop 8 in court, as is usually the job of the California Attorney General. Remarkably, he told the court that he found Prop 8 to be unconstitutional. Will Meg Whitman use this against Brown in the campaign, not just for his views on gay marriage (remember that Prop 8 passed by a comfortable popular majority, with significant support in every county but the Bay Area and among minority groups), but for failing to perform his job competently?
3. What will Congress do? Judge Walker's decision could reinvigorate the movement for the federal marriage amendment. President Bush proposed in 2004 an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I thought it a bad idea at the time, and wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal saying so, because it undermined our federal system of government just in the same way Roe v. Wade did. But I could see Walker's decision pushing the amendment's supporters in Congress to try to get the amendment passed and sent to the states. This would put every House and Senate member on the record on gay marriage.