Democratic Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren has been all over the newspapers the past several days after a revelation that Harvard Law School identified her as a Native American faculty member in the mid-1990s. The claim to Native American status came as a shock to the media and the Scott Brown campaign.
Warren contends that she was unaware of the designation by HLS, and that it played no role in her hiring. Warren asserts that her Native American heritage is family lore, and based on what she has been told not any specific documentation she is aware of.
Subsequently, David Bernstein discovered that in annual reports by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) from 1986-1994, Warren was listed as a minority faculty member. Since AALS bases such information solely on what faculty self-reports, the information must have come from Warren herself. The AALS directories, however, only identify whether the faculty member is “minority,” not what minority status is claimed.
There seems to be some uncertainty in news reports as to whether Warren filled out the AALS forms, and if so, whether she identified as Native American, with the Brown campaign demanding that she “come clean.”
I spoke this afternoon with Alethea Harney, Warren’s campaign press secretary, and confirmed several key details.
Harney acknowledged that the minority status reported by Warren to AALS was Native American, and that while Warren does not remember the precise forms, she believes there was a box or other designation to be selected for Native American.