Harvard Law School's Sole Native American Professor as of Mid-1990s? Elizabeth Warren

Yet another example of the fluid, ever-evolving liberal concept of diversity.

Back in 1996, the Coalition for Civil Rights, a student group at Harvard Law School, ran a survey to determine whether law students at the school were happy with "the level of representation of women and minorities" on the faculty, according to the Harvard Crimson.

Eighty-three percent of respondents said the number of women working at the law school was "inadequate," the Crimson reported, while more than half of respondents were disappointed by the paucity of "white women, minority men and openly gay, lesbian or bisexual" professors at the law school.

Harvard Law spokesman Mike Chmura told the Crimson that of 71 law school professors and assistant professors, 11 were women, five were black, one was Native American and one was Hispanic.

"Although the conventional wisdom among students and faculty is that the Law School faculty includes no minority women, Chmura said Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren is Native American," the Crimson reported.

Yes -- that Elizabeth Warren, intellectual godmother to those whiny Occupy squatters and likely Democratic nominee to challenge GOP Senator Scott Brown.

The Boston Herald pounced on this unlikely development over the last couple of days after breaking the story and putting it out front Friday.

"Elizabeth Warren's avowed Native American heritage -- which the candidate rarely if ever discusses on the campaign trail -- was once touted by embattled Harvard Law School officials who cited her claim as proof of their faculty's diversity," wrote Herald reporter Hillary Chabot.

"Warren's claim, which surfaced yesterday after a Herald inquiry, put the candidate in an awkward position as campaign aides last night scrambled but failed to produce documents proving her family lineage," Chabot wrote. "Aides said the tales of Warren's Cherokee and Delaware tribe ancestors have been passed down through family lore."

Chabot also cited the Harvard Crimson story from October 1996 that quoted a law school spokesman describing Warren as the school's only Native American professor. In a 1998 story after Lani Guinier was hired by the law school, Chabot wrote, Warren was described by the Crimson as "the first woman with a minority background to be hired."

It wasn't until the following day that the Boston Globe caught up with the story, running an article on Saturday about the Brown campaign calling on Warren to apologize "for letting Harvard Law School tout her as a Native American in its attempts to demonstrate faculty diversity in the 1990s." A campaign spokesman told the Globe that Warren had no plans to apologize.

The Herald followed with another story Saturday on Warren still unable to produce documents proving her lineage and saying she had "no problem" with Harvard Law "using her roots to claim her as a diversity hire." Also weighing in with a decidedly incorrect take was Herald columnist Howie Carr, a popular conservative radio host.

Warren's campaign told the Herald on Friday that Warren did not discuss her Native American background with Harvard Law School faculty before she was hired, a claim substantiated by professor Charles Fried, a former U.S. Solicitor General for Ronald Reagan who sat on the appointing committee that recommended Warren in 1995. Warren's lineage came out later in her conversations at the law school after she was hired, the Herald reported, citing Warren's campaign as its source.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts