In case you haven’t heard, lily white Elizabeth Warren got herself listed as a Minority Law Teacher and Woman of Color by falsely claiming to be Native American, even though she clearly did not meet the definition used by Harvard and the EEOC.

Warren was reported by both the U. Penn. and Harvard Law Schools as Native American in their federal filings, and also was touted by Harvard as a Native American hire.

Fast forward to Fisher v. U. Texas, involving the objection by a white student that she was the subject of unlawful discrimination in admissions.  The Fisher case puts the entire affirmative action agenda at risk, and a key part of that are the shifting and drifting notions of who is a racial minority and whether discrimination on the basis of race in admissions against whites any longer can be justified.

Elizabeth Warren has been used as an example of the absurdity of modern racial preferences in at least four of the Amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs filed in the case.

Judicial Watch noted the absurdity of race-based preferences by asking the Court to “[i]magine a freshman class at the University comprised of 6,715 Elizabeth Warrens” (emphasis mine):

The recent controversy over former Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren highlights multiple ambiguities inherent in the University’s reliance on undefined, self-identified, and inherently ambiguous categories of race and ethnicity in its admissions policy. Based on nothing more than “family lore” and “high cheek bones,” Ms. Warren claimed, perhaps quite sincerely, that she was 1/32nd Cherokee and therefore a Native American and a minority… Under the University’s policy, an applicant who similarly identified herself as an “American Indian” based on “family lore” and “high cheekbones” would gain a “plus” factor toward admission, but an identical applicant without this same “family lore” or “high cheek bones” (or who was unaware that one of her 32 great-great-great grandparents happened to be Cherokee) would not. Imagine a freshman class at the University comprised of 6,715 Elizabeth Warrens, all identical but for the difference in the race or ethnicity of a single great great-great grandparent…. How much additional diversity would the University have achieved by taking the race and ethnicity of these students into account in the admissions process?

[My note, the assertion that Warren even was 1/32 Cherokee has been debunked.]

The Texas Association of University Scholars referenced Victor Davis Hansen’s discussion of Warren, noting how racial preferences can be used and then dropped when no longer needed (emphasis mine):

Historian Victor Davis Hanson summed up the damage that race based programs have caused to the United States:

Identities . .. are sometimes put on and taken off, like clothes, as elf-interest dictates-given that thy are no longer ascertainable by appearance. If that sounds crass or unfair, ask Elizabeth Warren who dropped her Native American claims as soon as she received tenure and found her 1/32 con suddenly superfluous-to the apparently similarly cynical but now mum employer Harvard [Law School] … [N]o on knows who qualifies as an oppressed victim… The real worry is that soon we will have so many recompense-seeking victims that we will run out of concession-granting oppressors. Wall Street Journal, page A15, May 14, 2012.

The CATO Insitute cited Warren for the point that racial classifications have become arbitrary:

And, of course, the assignment of race to individual applicants, for purposes of tabulating a “critical mass” and applying preferences, may be no less arbitrary.  E.g., Laura Padilla, Positionality: Situating Women of Color in the Affirmative Action Dialogue, 66 Fordham 898 (1997) (“Harvard Law School hired its first woman of color, Elizabeth Warren, in 1995.”).

The most brutal assessment was by attorney David Boyle, a self-described supporter of affirmative action, who worried that examples like Warren may tarnish those who affirmative action legitimately assists (emphasis mine):

Of late, there has been controversy about the supposed Cherokee heritage of Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren. While many do wonder about just how she considers herself Cherokee, her unusual case does not give reason to penalize others, including “full-blooded” blacks, Latinos, or Native Americans, by taking away their affirmative action. Warren can be punished (if need be), by public ridicule or otherwise, without less-privileged persons having to suffer needlessly.

Isn’t that the point that liberals in Massachusetts are missing?  Warren’s ethnic fraud did more to undermine affirmative action than any alleged “right wing” conspiracy.

When someone like Warren can lay claim to being a “woman of color” for diversity purposes, then diversity has lost all meaning.

It will be interesting to see if any of the Justices picks up on the Warren example.

I know one who will not touch it, former Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan, who likely signed some of those reports listing Warren as Native American.