To: Elizabeth Warren,
Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Dear Prof. Warren:
I am a third year undergraduate at a university in Michigan. Given your background, I am taking the liberty of writing you for advice.
As you undoubtedly are aware, in Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), the US Supreme Court upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s affirmative action admission policy, ruling that the school and the state had a compelling interest in class diversity.
There have been quite a few hard feelings in this state since then, as a significant number of applicants with higher Grade Point Averages and test scores have been denied admission to UMich Law in favor of minority students with less stellar applications.
I have several questions for you:
1. My great grandparents lived in an Eastern European country where they were definitely part of a minority. If we were a minority in the Baltic Area, is there any provision in American jurisprudence under which we/I could qualify as a minority here?
2. A significant part of my family emigrated to South Africa from Eastern Europe. I have studied pictures of these relatives and ancestors, finding that some of them had flat noses, just like all the Africans. Would this qualify me as an African American?
(Of course some of the noses were flattened by two-by-fours swung at them by folks chasing them out of one location or another. But we should try every avenue of opportunity, shouldn’t we?)
3. I note that much of your academic research is focused on bankruptcy and commercial law, especially as regards troubled companies. http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/index.html?id=82
I have several questions in this regard. First of all, a pension program for benefit of several of my friends and family members had holdings in the secured debt of Chrysler Corporation before the auto reorganizations. This debt was supposed to have been secured by all the hard assets of Chrysler, to be paid off in a manner senior to the junior debt holders.
My understanding is that your friend, President Obama, arranged for a reorganization which all but wiped out the secured holders (including pension beneficiaries), giving much of the stock to the company’s labor unions which were not secured creditors. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=7731226&page=1#.T6Rywdl0SSo
Do you think that this was a) fair; or b) an aberration of American creditor/debtor law.
Do you think that shares now held by the UAW and its friends should be delivered back to the pension type investors who thought they were secured?
I see also that you are a specialist in what is described as ‘small business bankruptcy”. I am curious to know whether this is because you are studying it or because you and those of your party are causing it?
Finally, I too think I have high cheekbones. Do you think that it would be possible as a result of this to get my family a charter to operate Indian casinos? It wouldn’t have to be in Michigan. We would be flexible on relocating.
Thank you in advance for the courtesy of a reply. Best wishes in your upcoming contest.