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Report: Cherokee Claims Had No Role in Warren's Hiring

'It was just not an issue,' Harvard professor says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2018 4:26 AM CDT
Sen. Elizabeth Warren gestures during a town hall-style gathering in Woburn, Mass. last month.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
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(Newser) – It probably won't be enough to get President Trump to drop his "Pocahontas" label for her, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren's controversial claims to Native American heritage didn't give her legal career a boost, according to the Boston Globe. The newspaper, after reviewing hundreds of documents and speaking to dozens of professors, found that the Democrat's heritage was not a factor in her admission to law school at Rutgers, her hiring as a Harvard law professor in the '90s, or for jobs at the University of Houston, the University of Texas, and the University of Pennsylvania, CBS News reports. Some 30 out of 31 Harvard professors said her race was not discussed, while a 31st was unsure if it came up but stressed it played no role in the decision to hire her.

"She was not on the radar screen at all in terms of a racial minority hire," says Randall Kennedy, a professor who was in charge of recruiting minority candidates to Harvard Law School at the time Warren applied. "It was just not an issue. I can’t remember anybody ever mentioning her in this context," he says. Warren, who listed herself in a Harvard staff directory as having Native American heritage, has claimed to have Cherokee heritage, though she has nothing to back it up but family stories. The Massachusetts senator, who is up for re-election this year, posted work and education documents on her website Sunday. "My background played no role in my getting hired anywhere," she says. (Read more Elizabeth Warren stories.)

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