Politics

Fact Checker: Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren and Indian claim





"Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has focused his campaign’s attention back on the self-proclaimed Native American heritage of his Democratic challenger, Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren, who listed herself as a minority in professional directories commonly used by recruiters.

Brown said that Warren “checked the box claiming she was Native American” when she applied to Harvard and Penn, suggesting the Democratic candidate somehow gained an unfair advantage because of an iffy ethnic background. But there is no proof that she ever marked a form to tell the schools about her heritage, nor is there any public evidence that the universities knew about her lineage before hiring her.

The senator’s debate comments also suggest Warren actively applied for positions with Harvard and Penn, but the evidence suggests the schools recruited her because of her groundbreaking research and writings on bankruptcy. Harvard, in fact, did not give up on her after she first turned down a tenured position with the university.

Some might assume that Warren listed herself as a minority in the law school directories to attract offers from top schools, which would be a pro-active measure. The explanation that she was reaching out to other Native Americans — when she was merely listed as a “minority” — certainly appears suspicious, but there is no conclusive evidence that she used her status in the listing to land a job.

But Warren appears to have been well-qualified for the teaching positions and excelled once she was hired. "

Get the Story:
Fact Checker: Everything you need to know about Elizabeth Warren’s claim of Native American heritage (The Washington Post 9/28)

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