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Cornyn: Can Kagan Can Set Ideology Aside?

Senate Judiciary Committee member John Cornyn (R-Texas) joined CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford for a special edition of Washington Unplugged Wednesday, where he discussed Elena Kagan's personal and political ideology and questioned whether she would be able to separate her ideology from the rule of law should she become the 112th justice of the Supreme Court.

"She conceded that she's politically a liberal and a Democrat," Cornyn told Crawford. "The question is can she set that aside and assume the role of judge and decided cases without pursuing a political agenda."

On day three of the Kagan confirmation hearings, Cornyn said that "what we don't know is how she will perform her job as a member of the Supreme Court. We're trying to get some measure on what kind of justice she will be."

Cornyn referenced Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings last year and her statements on the second amendment. During her hearings, Sotomayor said the amendment conferred a right to possess a handgun for lawful purposes. According to Cornyn, "[Sotomayor] then promptly, one of her first decisions on the Supreme Court joined an opinion that said their is no individual right. That's very troubling."

Cornyn did acknowledge that over the course of the hearings Kagan had positively changed his perception of her.

"I think she's an interesting person," he said. "I think she's obviously very intelligent and she may not be as ideological as I might have worried about."

Still, he said, "My gut tells me that she will probably be a predictable member of the minority block."

When Crawford asked if he would vote for Kagan's confirmation, Cornyn remained coy.

"I'm reserving judgment until all of the evidence is in," he said.

Watch Washington Unplugged's special coverage of Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings above. It also features a roundtable panel of guests including Jack Quinn, White House Counsel to President Clinton; Rachel Brand, Former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy under President George W. Bush; Politico's Josh Gerstein; Dr. John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime And Gun Control Laws"; and CBS News' Kaylee Hartung.

More from Jan Crawford:

Democrats Miss Point on Campaign Spending
Why is Al Franken on Judiciary?
Low Temps on Day Two of Kagan's Grilling
Watching Kagan: Reality Check
Kagan on Military Recruiting: Reality Check
Kagan Supports Cameras in Supreme Court

Follow Jan Crawford on Twitter
Jan Crawford's Facebook Page

Washington Unplugged: How Did Kagan Do?
Pictures from the Conifirmation Hearing Special Report: Elena Kagan

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