Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday called on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to commit to recusing herself from cases involving the Affordable Care Act and the 2020 election if confirmed.

Why it matters: Barrett wrote in 2017 that Chief Justice John Roberts betrayed the tenets of conservative legal analysis when he upheld the Affordable Care Act. The law will be back before the court in November. Democrats have made it central to their messaging that Barrett will try to invalidate the law if she is confirmed to the court.

What he's saying: Schumer said Barrett has "serious conflicts of interest" that should precipitate her recusal from ACA and election-related cases.

  • Barrett's record and previous statements "raise serious questions as to whether she can rule fairly at all," Schumer said.
  • He also pointed to Trump's comment indicating he wanted Barrett confirmed quickly in case she needed to decide the result of the election.

Background: This challenge to the ACA argues that the law’s individual mandate became unconstitutional when Congress nullified it in 2017 — and that the rest of the ACA must fall along with it.

What to watch: Hearings for Barrett's nomination kick off in the Senate on Monday, and Republicans are hoping to confirm her before Election Day.

  • Barrett will say that "policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People," in her opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to prepared remarks obtained by Axios.
  • "Nothing in her opening statement allays the concerns America has that she will overturn ACA and hurt people's health care and she will act to undo Roe v. Wade," Schumer said.
  • The Supreme Court will hear the ACA case on Nov. 10.

Go deeper

Only 3% of Americans have no opinion on whether Barrett should join Supreme Court

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

Only 3% of Americans have no opinion on whether Judge Amy Coney Barrett should be confirmed to the Supreme Court, per a Gallup poll released Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's a historic low for those who have no opinion on a pick to the high court in Gallup's initial polling — previously, 19% had no opinion on Merrick Garland, Sonia Sotomayor and John Roberts — and it highlights the extremely polarized nature of today's politics.

Updated Oct 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court denies Pennsylvania GOP request to limit mail-in voting

Protesters outside Supreme Court. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the state. Thanks to the court's 4-4 deadlock, ballots can be counted for several days after Election Day.

Why it matters: It's a major win for Democrats that could decide the fate of thousands of ballots in a crucial swing state that President Trump won in 2016. The court's decision may signal how it would deal with similar election-related litigation in other states.

Updated Oct 16, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: News Shapers unpack the SCOTUS confirmation hearings

On Friday, October 16 Axios' Mike Allen and Margaret Talev hosted a conversation to unpack the news of the day, including coverage of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, featuring Sen. Chris Coons and Trump 2020 senior advisor for strategy Steve Cortes.

Steve Cortes discussed current national and state polls on the November election. According to Axios reporting, Biden maintains a double-digit lead over Trump nationally, but state polls are narrower.

  • On the importance of looking at states that will be key to securing Electoral College votes: "It's most important, I think, for us to highlight to our supporters, to everybody, that battleground state polls are what matter most,"
  • On Biden's double-digit lead: "In reality, they don't believe that they are up double digits nationally. We [at the Trump campaign] certainly don't believe that. And again, it's not a national election. It's a state by state election."

Sen. Chris Coons discussed the SCOTUS confirmation hearings, and expressed that Judge Amy Coney Barrett will likely to be confirmed by the Senate and appointed to the Supreme Court, barring a significant change from Republicans.

  • On the confirmation hearings: "The only thing that could happen to stop that at this point would be a real change of heart on the part of a number of our Republican colleagues."
  • Why Sen. Coons isn't voting to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett: "[Because of] her view towards reaching back and reexamining and overturning long-settled precedent...from labor rights and environmental protection, to Native American rights, to the rights of criminal defendants and privacy and health care."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.