Does anybody else remember when former President Trump called Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) ‘Pocahontas’ and said he would donate a million dollars to her favorite charity if she proves Indian heritage in a DNA test?
Samuel Alito likely does. The Supreme Court associate justice appeared to reference Elizabeth Warren’s self-admitted false claims of having Indian ancestry, stating “I identify as American Indian,” during an oral argument surrounding race-based college and university admissions.
Harvard University and the University of North Carolina were the schools involved in the two cases that were discussed pertaining to affirmative action policies in schools that discriminate against applicants based on the color of their skin.
Alito questioned the types of standards used for determining a prospective student’s heritage during the discussion.
“We rely on self-reporting,” answered North Carolina Solicitor General Ryan Park, who defends the discriminatory policies of UNC.
“One great-grandparent,” Alito responded. “Are you going to make me continue to go on?”
“Right, I think that as we go on, I agree that it would seem less plausible that that person would feel that this is actually capturing my true racial identity,” Park said.
Alito then referenced the aforementioned ‘Pocahontas.’
“It’s family lore that we have an ancestor who was an American Indian,” he said.
“I think in that particular circumstance, it would be not accurate for them to say…” said Park.
“I identify as American Indian because I’ve always been told that some ancestor back in the old days was an American Indian,” Alito rebutted.
Justice Alito: "I identify as an American Indian because I have always been told that some ancestor back in the old days was an American Indian." pic.twitter.com/HV5mFjEL4T
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 31, 2022
“Yeah, so I think in that circumstance it would be very unlikely that that person was telling the truth, and this seems true for, we rely on self-reporting for all the other demographics and characteristics that we asked for and there’s nothing special about the racial identification on that score,” Park said in response.
Alito’s implied reference to Elizabeth Warren resonated with many Americans, including George Washington University Shapiro Chair of Public Interest Law and criminal defense attorney Jonathan Turley.
“An applicant may claim to be a Native American do [sic] to stories in her family,” he wrote online. “Park that that would not be honest…”
Park also admitted to Alito that they rely on self-reporting. Alito raised a hypothetical that sounded like the Elizabeth Warren matter (without naming her) that an applicant may claim to be a Native American do to stories in her family. Park that that that would not be honest…
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) October 31, 2022
Warren drew a fair amount of controversy for her previous claims that she is an American Indian. The Massachusetts Senator reportedly wrote “American Indian” on a registration form for the State Bar of Texas and was also classified as a minority in Harvard’s law school directory. Upon being asked for evidence of her supposed Indian ancestry, Warren said her pawpaw had “high cheekbones” and talked about her family cookbook titled “Pow Wow Chow.”