Justice Alito alludes to Sen. Elizabeth Warren in affirmative action case

The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments over whether colleges can use racially based preferences when choosing to admit applicants.

The case has featured a number of contentious exchanges, including one that alluded to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Alito asked if “family lore” could allow a student to identify as Native American

According to Business Insider, the reference came on Monday as Justice Samuel Alito went back and forth with North Carolina Solicitor General Ryan Park, who is defending the use of racial preferences at the University of North Carolina.

At one point Alito asked Lee if there is anything to prevent college applicants from identifying as a member of a racial group they don’t actually belong to, saying, “It’s family lore that we have an ancestor who was an American Indian.”

“I identify as an American Indian because I’ve always been told that some ancestor back in the old days was an American Indian,” he added.

The Washington Post reported that Warren issued an apology in 2019 for having falsely identified as Native American when applying for a job at Harvard University. Warren had earlier identified as Native American on her Texas bar card.

“I can’t go back,” Warren was quoted as telling the Post. “But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”

Constitutional law expert thinks Supreme Court will bar racial preferences

Fox News reported that another clash came when Park suggested that racial preferences are necessary to aid in higher education.

“The mechanism there is that it reduces groupthink and that people have longer and more sustained disagreement, and that leads to a more efficient outcome,” Park argued.

“I guess I don’t put much stock in that because I’ve heard similar arguments in favor of segregation, too,” Justice Clarence Thomas shot back.

“I’ve heard the word diversity quite a few times, and I don’t have a clue what it means. It seems to mean everything for everyone,” he added.

Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley told Fox News that he expects the Court to outlaw college racial preferences, saying, “Chief Justice Roberts at points appeared to be losing his patience with Harvard’s counsel Seth Waxman due to his combative style in oral argument.”