Monday, October 15, 2012

Fauxcahontas Isn't Paying Her Fair Share

Elizabeth "Fauxcahontas" Warren, the Democratic nominee for the US Senate from Massachusetts, has a high six-figure income and a net worth in the neighborhood of $14 million or so. She is said to have created the "intellectual foundation" such as it is for the Occupy Wall Street movement. She also claims based upon family lore to be 1/32 Cherokee Indian.

Thus, when I read this morning in Professor William Jacobson's Legal Insurrection blog that she had obtained fee waivers from at least 50 judicial districts for the use of the federal Pacer system, I was pissed.
But Warren, who berates factory owners, obtained fee waivers for access to the bankruptcy docket maintained by the federal PACER system, for which others have to pay.
Warren took advantage of a policy at PACER which provides for fee waivers for academic research based on her standing as a law professor....
It is easy to surmise that Warren saved thousands of dollars, maybe even more, over the course of her research, by not having to pay the PACER fees that all other users have to pay.
The savings were a result of her representations that the research was being done for academic purposes. 
Why am I pissed? Because I have been using the Pacer system to download court records, filings, opinions, etc. since I started this blog. I have paid my fair share of fees to use this system and there have been quarters where the amount ran over $100. I like to think that my posts on the various Second Amendment cases serve to educate readers. However, unlike Warren I don't make close to $900K a year or have assets of over $14 million. Moreover, I don't get grant funding which pays the fees as well as the cost of law clerks to assist in the research. I do this because it is fun and because it helps to advance, in a small way, our rights.

As to Warren's claim of being a Cherokee Indian, I have clients who are enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and her supposed 1/32nd wouldn't cut it with them. The Eastern Band are those Cherokee who lived so deep in the mountains that they were able to avoid the forced removal. I find it insulting that someone who's ancester is more likely to have helped in the removal of the Cherokee from the mountains around me and put them on The Trail of Tears dares to claim kinship with them.


  1. I don't fault her for claiming 1/32 Cherokee ancestry. I have similar family lore. Using it for preferential treatment is another matter though.

  2. I would agree with you about the preferential treatment aspect.

    The EBCI requires 1/16th and lineage to what is called the Baker Roll to be an enrolled member. The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians require 1/4th. As I understand it the Cherokee Nation of OK only requires direct blood lineage to those Cherokee on the Dawes Roll.

  3. My father told me that one of our ancestors had been kidnapped and adopted by the Cherokee at one point, and that I was 1/32 Cherokee. Since my father is a more-or-less intelligent man, and never had a habit of lying to me, I believed him.

    Then, when I got to college, I was told that just about EVERYONE claims to have Cherokee ancestry, for some reason, and now I'm not sure what to believe.

    1. In my family it was always stories about another tribe of indigenous peoples called the Celts who drank this strange dark brew called Guinness. They had long suffered oppression from a group called the Brits and even had a famine thrust upon them called The Great Hunger.