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What Elizabeth Warren Could Have Taught Marco Defunis

As you read the blog below, keep in mind how Sen. Elizabeth Warren declared herself to be an American Indian when she thought Harvard Law School would thereby afford her extra consideration, perhaps even points.

The first big affirmative action case in higher education to reach the U.S. Supreme Court was not the famous Bakke case in 1978 but the less-well-known Defunis case in 1974.  For those who don’t recall it (or somehow didn’t write a dissertation about affirmative action in the academy in 1980), Marco Defunis’s application for admission to the University of Washington law school was originally rejected.  He sued, claiming correctly that minority students with weaker academic credentials had been admitted instead.  A lower court ruled in his favor and he was permitted to enroll in the UW law school.

But by the time the case reached the Supreme Court, Defunis was close to graduating, if he hadn’t already.  This gave the high court an opportunity to sidestep the issue, which it did, by ruling all had become moot.

Only occasionally reported back then was that Defunis was a Sephardic Jew.  Meaning, his ancestors came from Spain.  Also meaning he might have saved himself an enormous amount of time and expense, and spared himself often severe notoriety, had he simply declared himself Hispanic when first applying to law school, as his chances for admission the first time around might have increased dramatically.

If only Marco Defunis had been tutored by Professor Warren.




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