Ernest Herrera is a staff attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and based in MALDEF’s Western Regional Office in Los Angeles. Previously, he worked in the MALDEF Southwestern Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. He specializes in educational equity and in voting rights litigation, including redistricting. He also works on immigrants’ rights cases.
Mr. Herrera has worked on the Martinez v. New Mexico education adequacy case since 2015, including working on the 2017 trial team, resulting in a ruling that all New Mexico English learners, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students have a fundamental right to a sufficient K-12 education. He also worked on the enforcement of a desegregation consent decree in Morales v. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. He has worked on a number of cases in the area of voting rights, including Perez v. Abbott, in which the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 ruled in favor of MALDEF’s unique claim of racial gerrymandering in the Texas state house redistricting plan; and Patiño v. City of Pasadena, the first case to secure a contested section 5 bail-in after Shelby County v. Holder. He also worked on a successful challenge to the January 2019 Texas voter purge in which the State of Texas attempted to remove 95,000 voters from the voter registration rolls.
Mr. Herrera joined MALDEF in 2013. He received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law.