At this point, Senator Elizabeth Warren may be about 1/2024th as likely to win the Democratic nomination next year as was when all of her Native American troubles began. The release of her privately conducted DNA test didn’t put matters to rest, nor did her recent apology to the Cherokee Nation. After that, though, bigger stories began overwhelming the news cycle and it was beginning to look as if this tempest might start to fade into the background, at least for a while.
But now there’s this. (Washington Post)
But as Warren undergoes increased scrutiny as a presidential candidate, additional documents could surface to keep the issue alive.
Using an open records request during a general inquiry, for example, The Post obtained Warren’s registration card for the State Bar of Texas, providing a previously undisclosed example of Warren identifying as an “American Indian.”
Warren filled out the card by hand in neat blue ink and signed it. Dated April 1986, it is the first document to surface showing Warren making the claim in her own handwriting. Her office didn’t dispute its authenticity.
Let’s take a look at this card because it raises a couple of questions. (Click for full-size image)
The WaPo (and most other outlets) are focusing on the entry she made for her race. The term “American Indian” isn’t used in polite company anymore, with “Native American” being the preferred description. But that was 1986 and it was still in common use so I suppose we can’t knock her too much for it more than thirty years later.
But why would she choose to identify herself in that fashion when it’s been well documented that she identified as “white” earlier in her life? Was there some advantage to be gained in any work she was doing in Texas? Or, perhaps more likely, she had already changed her professed racial identity in the Association of American Law Schools listing so she was just getting in the habit of writing it everywhere for consistency’s sake. (She would later list herself in that fashion at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and at Harvard in 1995.)
Here’s one more question about the information (or lack thereof) on that card. Notice that the address of her office is listed and her home address has been blacked out, as one might expect. But on the next line below that, her date of birth is redacted. Why? She’s a public figure and her birthday is a known data point (June 22, 1949).
She would have been a couple months shy of turning 37 when she signed that card. Is there some reason she might have lied about her age while registering with the state bar in Texas? Also, was that redacted by the State Bar of Texas before they sent it to the WaPo or did the newspaper redact it for publication?
Like so many other things when it comes to Elizabeth Warren, the closer you peer into the details, the more strangeness crops up. Not necessarily anything illegal, mind you. But just weird.