Appeals court backs Pres. Bush in civil rights panel dispute – National Report – Brief Article
Cleveland labor lawyer Peter Kirsanow, who had been denied his seat ever since his appointment last November to the U. S. Civil Rights Commission, was recently rescued by the Washington D. C. Federal Court of Appeals.
The court ruled that he became a legitimate Civil Rights Commissioner when President Bush named him to replace Victoria Wilson, whose term had expired. She was serving out the six-year term of the late Philadelphia Judge A. Leon Higginbotham.
After Commission Chairwoman Mary Frances Berry refused to seat the lawyer, who formerly headed the conservative Center for Black Leadership, Kirsanow nevertheless attended five commission meetings, although he sat in the audience and had no voice in the deliberations.
At his first appearance as a civil rights commissioner, the lawyer asked his colleagues why they didn’t use the U. S. Attorney General as the authority for resolving legal matters.
He took issue with the commissioners on using taxpayers’ money to hire outside lawyers to represent them in court.
Meanwhile, Commission Chair Mary Francis Berry appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court to settle the dispute on the length of the term of Victoria Wilson, who was replaced by Kirsanow.
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