Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat Senate candidate running against incumbent Scott Brown in Massachusetts, is in heap big trouble. It turns out that she claimed minority status -- from 1/32rd part Cherokee heritage -- to get a leg up in the law school hiring/tenure processes during her early years teaching at Oklahoma State College and Harvard. At no time was she listed with official tribe records, and her ten-year listing as a minority curiously vanished from subsequent AALS listings after receiving tenure.
Warren is now claiming that she listed her status to aid in networking, although apparently she personally made no attempts to engage other Native Americans in legal academics.
Presuming for the sake of argument that her bloodline does include one full-blood Cherokee ancestor who would have died prior to the US Civil War, what does Warren's inclusion as a minority hire mean for affirmative action practices? Is a 3% genetic match the new "one-drop" rule for race-based preferential hiring? Should US citizens with southern European heritage start listing themselves as "African-American", based on the likelihood that at least 3% of their genetic code comes from sub-Saharan Africa?