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Of late, we’ve been thinking of Alaska’s great leaders; the ones...

Over the years, the Alaska Marine Highway System has been an attractive...

Richard M. "Rick" Brown, 74, died Feb. 23, 2019, in Ketchikan. He was born on Nov. 9, 1944, in Salem, Oregon. Mr.
Gina Lucille "Bobby" Callister Demmert Milner, 56, died Dec. 10, 2018, in Anchorage.
Know the facts

It’s a dereliction of duty to decide a vote without listening to the facts.

The idea reminds us of when U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi encouraged House members to vote for the Affordable Care Act with the understanding that its content would be figured out following its passage. Nonsense.

It’s nonsense, too, when members of the U.S. Senate promise a no vote regarding confirmation of a new U.S. Supreme Court justice before knowing who that might be.

Any U.S. senator deserving of the title holds off deciding until being fully informed.

They might not like the president, his policies or any number of other aspects of his presidency. They might be affiliated with a political party which is not the president’s. They might even have sold out to special interests. Or maybe they simply aren’t up to the challenge of vetting a judicial candidate; perhaps they shouldn’t be a senator.

Whatever the reason, it speaks directly to their job performance.

Whether Democrat, Republican or Independent, it is the responsibility of senators to represent all of their constituents. The majority of these constituents likely expect a fair hearing for any candidate; they understand that that’s all a candidate — and the president — is asking for. Once the hearing is completed, some senators will vote yes and others will cast no votes, and that’s alright. But before then, all senators should keep an open mind — much like they would expect a judge to do with the cases that will come before the bench.

Both Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan have had previous contact with Trump’s nominee — Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a Washington, D.C.-based federal appeals court jurist.

Kavanaugh reveres the U.S. Constitution and promises to be an independent thinker while protecting the Constitution and the American rule of law.

Senators will have an opportunity to talk with Judge Kavanaugh and review his judicial history — his writings and remarks. They will be able to determine whether the man who seeks the highest court in the land is worthy of the responsibility, and will faithfully uphold the constitution.

Once they have done that — their job — then is the time for them to decide how to vote.