(NEW YORK) — A 1997 piece from the Fordham Law Review lists Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren as the “first woman of color” hired by Harvard Law School, according to reports.
The article, which was unearthed by Politico, was titled “Intersectionality and Positionality: Situating Women of Color in the Affirmative Action Dialogue.” The author, Laura Padilla, who now serves as the associate dean of California Western Law School in San Diego, CA., reportedly based her description on a phone conversation with then-Harvard Law spokesman Mike Chmura.
There is no evidence that Warren was aware of the article — or that she necessarily ever read it.
Chmura is also the Harvard spokesman who described Warren as Native American in a 1996 Crimson article. Questions about Warren’s ancestry and whether her career benefited from it have sidetracked the Massachusetts Senate race for weeks.
Hard evidence of Warren’s Native American ancestry has so far not turned up. The New England Historic Genealogical Society found secondary sources tracing Warren’s heritage to her great-great-great-grandmother, who was listed as Cherokee on an 1894 marriage license application, but that document has yet to be located, the society told ABC News in an email.
Warren’s campaign issued a statement through spokeswoman Alethea Harney: “There is nothing new in this report. Elizabeth has been clear that she is proud of her Native American heritage and everyone who hired Elizabeth has been clear that she was hired because she was a great teacher, not because of that heritage.
“It’s time to return to issues — like rising student loan debt, job creation, and Wall Street regulation — that will have a real impact on middle class families. It’s also time for Scott Brown to answer serious questions about his votes to let interest rates on student loans double so our kids pay more while he votes to give oil companies — some of the most profitable companies in the world — tax breaks worth billions. There are plenty more, like his votes against jobs bills because they’d make billionaires pay their fair share, or his votes to water down rules to hold Wall Street accountable that have brought him millions in campaign contributions. Scott Brown’s explanation for these votes against Massachusetts families is long overdue.”
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