Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., lashed out at the “extremist” Supreme Court over its ruling on affirmative action Thursday, leading to a social media firestorm from the senator’s critics who recalled her assertions of Native American heritage and claiming minority status at universities where she worked.
“An extremist Supreme Court has once again reversed decades of settled law, rolled back the march toward racial justice, and narrowed educational opportunity for all. I won’t stop fighting for young people with big dreams who deserve an equal chance to pursue their future,” Warren wrote in a tweet.
Warren’s remarks came shortly after the high court ruled that the use of race as a factor in college admissions is a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
The remarks from Warren — who has served in the Senate since 2013 — drew immense backlash from social media users, many of whom referred to Warren as “Pocahontas,” a nickname for the senator that derived from former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for the White House.
“YOU. PRETENDED. TO. BE. A. PERSON. OF. COLOR. TO. ADVANCE. YOUR. CAREER,” Seattle-based talk show host Jason Rantz wrote in response.
“Segregation was also settled law for decades. Your party enacted and enforced those laws, just as it now promotes racial preferences. So once again the Court has acted to put an end to the institutionalized bigotry of the Democratic Party,” author and conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza told Warren in a tweet.
Chiming in, “Bachelor” star Jillian Anderson wrote, “You’re just upset that being Pocahontas no longer gives you an edge.”
“Is inciting violence against Supreme Court Justices the new norm in this country for Democrats,” Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney and a national immigration reform advocate, questioned in a tweet.
Taking aim at Warren’s comments, Second Amendment advocate Dana Loesch wrote, “You literally filled out forms by your own hand where you cited ‘American Indian’ as your race at U of Pennsylvania, Harvard, the Assoc of American Law Schools, & your 1986 Texas bar registration card. They falsely advertised you as a minority in faculty directories. Sit down.”
“OH — and the old white lady senator from MA [then] voted to centralize student loans thereby jacking up the costs for students. Great self awareness there, Liz,” Loesch added in a separate tweet.
Comedian Tim Young also weighed in on the claims made by Warren, writing in a tweet, “Sooo… Elizabeth Warren, who advanced her career by pretending to be a minority… Now pretends to be concerned about racial justice… lol… got it.”
Joe Pinion, a former television host who served as the nominee for the Republican and Conservative parties in the 2022 U.S. Senate election in New York, responded to Warren and asked, “So anytime the court disagrees with you it is extreme?”
“It’s a sad day when Harvard law professors start ignoring the nuances of the courts ruling to pander for votes,” Pinion added.
“You have to admit it takes b*lls for @SenWarren to weigh in on THIS one,” Rachel Campos-Duffy, a co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend,” noted in response.
Disgruntled by the senator’s remarks, another user wrote, “I understand why racial preferences might not bother you, but not everyone is willing to lie and pretend to be a minority as a workaround to get special benefits, Senator Warren.”
Warren, who was born and raised in Oklahoma, had for decades claimed to have Native American heritage. But it wasn’t until her successful 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts that she revealed she had claimed minority status at universities where she worked. The controversy became an issue in her race against Republican incumbent Scott Brown.
In 2018, amid criticism from then-President Trump and others, Warren took a DNA test to prove she had Native American ancestry. She rolled out the results just weeks before the 2018 midterm elections.
The DNA results also fueled claims by Republican critics that she had used a trace amount of Native American heritage to advance her academic career.
The test itself revealed strong evidence that the Massachusetts senator had a Native American ancestor dating back six to 10 generations. If Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother were Native American, she would be considered 1/64 Native American. Should Warren’s ancestor date back 10 generations, she would be only 1/1,024 Native American.
Responding to critics in 2018, Warren said, according to RollCall: “I get why some people think there’s hay to be made here. You won’t find my family members on any rolls, and I’m not enrolled in a tribe. . . . I want to make something clear. I respect that distinction. I understand that tribal membership is determined by tribes – and only by tribes.”
“I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead. I never used it to advance my career,” she added at the time.
The October 2018 DNA test by the Massachusetts senator angered some tribal leaders and sparked a slew of political pushback against the senator at the time.
The Cherokee Nation slammed Warren at the time, with the tribe’s then-secretary of state Chuck Hoskin Jr. saying the use of “a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong.”
Warren later issued an apology to the Cherokee Nation for taking the DNA test.
“Senator Warren has reached out to us and has apologized to the tribe. We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws, not through DNA tests,” Cherokee Nation spokeswoman Julie Hubbard said in a February 2019 statement.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.