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.

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Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

Of note: As Republicans applauded the action, Democratic leaders warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative so close to the election, as progressives led calls to expand the court.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Schumer: Coney Barrett vote "one of the darkest days" in Senate history

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday "will go down as one of the darkest days" in Senate history, moments before the chamber voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

The bottom line: Schumer said his Republican colleagues "decided to thwart the will of the people" by holding the vote eight days ahead of the presidential election, despite opposing President Obama's nominee because it was an election year.