When Peter Kirsanow was appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights by President Bush in December 2001, the Commission’s Chairperson told the White House that it would take federal marshals to seat Mr. Kirsanow. The majority on the Commission fought his appointment all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Justice Department prevailed in its lawsuit to seat Mr. Kirsanow, and he became a member of the Commission in May 2002.
Mr. Kirsanow is past chair of the Center for New Black Leadership, a public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. In that capacity he has been at the center of debates involving affirmative action, school vouchers, high-stakes testing, health care, judicial appointments, welfare policy and economic empowerment. Mr. Kirsanow has written scores of articles for a variety of publications on matters ranging from racial preferences to labor relations.
Mr. Kirsanow has been an adjunct professor at Cleveland Marshall College of Law. He has testified before Congress on a variety of matters including the Davis Bacon Act and regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship. He has been known for taking strong and sometimes controversial stands on a variety of policy issues such as racial preferences and the war on terror.
Mr. Kirsanow is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group of the Cleveland law firm of Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP. He focuses his practice on representing management in employment-related litigation, as well as contract negations, NLRB proceedings, EEO matters and arbitration. He formerly served as labor counsel for the City of Cleveland and as senior labor counsel of Leaseway Transportation Corp. Mr. Kirsanow has extensive experience in public sector employment matters as well as in industries such as heavy manufacturing, trucking, health care, radio and television and employee leasing. Mr. Kirsanow received his B.A. from Cornell University and his J.D. with honors from Cleveland State University College of Law, where he served as articles editor of the Cleveland State Law Review.