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Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett declined to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday if she believes the president has the unilateral authority to delay an election, arguing that giving "off-the-cuff answers" would essentially make her a "legal pundit."

Why it matters: President Trump suggested he could delay the election earlier this year. But he has no authority to unilaterally do so under the Constitution. It would take a change in federal law to move the date of the election — which would have to be approved by both chambers of Congress.

What she's saying: Barrett was adamant about not voicing her opinions on potential cases throughout Tuesday's hearing, stating, "If that question ever came before me, I would need to hear arguments from the litigants and read briefs and consult with my law clerks and talk to my colleagues and go through the opinion-writing process."

  • "If I gave off-the-cuff answers then I would be basically a legal pundit, and I don't think we want judges to be legal pundits," she added.
  • "I think we want judges to approach cases thoughtfully and with an open mind."

The big picture: Barrett has been under pressure from Senate Democrats to address potential cases involving Trump, including disputes over the 2020 election results.

  • She testified that she has made "no commitment" to anyone in the executive branch over how she would rule on any cases, including abortion or the challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
  • Barrett also said she would "fully and faithfully apply the law of recusal" if necessary, but that she "can't offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting" the traditional process.

Go deeper

WaPo: Trump urged Georgia's secretary of state to "find" votes to overturn Biden win

President Trump walks to the Oval Office on Dec 31. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday tried to convince Georgia's Republican Secretary of State to "find 11,780 votes" — enough to overturn Joe Biden's win in the state — in an hourlong phone call obtained by the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Trump's personal appeal to Brad Raffensperger, which included suggesting that the secretary of state could face legal trouble if he did not take action on Trump's grievances, comes as several Senate Republicans plan to object to certifying election results in a last-ditch effort to support the president's unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

Business leaders urge Republicans to drop Electoral College challenge

Sen. Ted Cruz. Photo: Susan Walsh/Pool/Getty Images

U.S. business leaders are urging Republicans to drop their plans to object to certifying the 2020 election results, saying such efforts "run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy."

Driving the news: Several Republican senators, led by Ted Cruz (R-Texas), as well as a group of House members say they will oppose certifying Joe Biden's win, despite the fact that nearly all lawsuits brought by President Trump, his allies and his legal team to challenge the election results have been dismissed.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.