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Alaska attorney general says he can set aside personal views

Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson testifies before state senators during a confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Juneau, Alaska. Clarkson's appointment to the job by Gov. Mike Dunleavy is subject to legislative approval. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

JUNEAU — Alaska's attorney general says he can set aside his personal views on issues like abortion in performing his duties.

During a confirmation hearing Tuesday, Kevin Clarkson said the attorney general's job is to respect the law, not bring personal views to work.

The longtime attorney has handled an array of cases. But his work on cases involving social issues has drawn attention, with some gay rights and abortion rights advocates raising concerns.

Clarkson has said he helped draft the 1998 state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But he notes the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage is now the law.

Alaska state Sen. Scott Kawasaki, right, speaks during a confirmation hearing for Attorney General Kevin Clarkson on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Juneau, Alaska. Pictured on the left is Sen. John Coghill. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

He says the right to abortion is protected under the Alaska constitution's privacy provision.

Several fellow attorneys praised Clarkson’s skills and professionalism.

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