Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, February 4, 2011


Page 3


MALDEF Appoints Nina Perales Director of Litigation


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund yesterday named longtime staff attorney Nina Perales as its director of litigation.

Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel, remarked that Perales “has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation’s top civil rights litigators.” He predicted that with Perales’ “expertise and dedication to the MALDEF mission, she will ensure that our docket of civil rights cases flourishes and our roster of significant courtroom victories expands in the years to come.”

Perales has served as MALDEF’s Southwest Regional Counsel for the past eight years, directing MALDEF’s litigation, advocacy and public education in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. In her new role, she will oversee the organization’s litigation efforts nationwide, a spokesperson for the group said.

The attorney has been involved in a lawsuit challenging Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 measure, as well as litigation challenging immigration-related laws in Texas, according to the MALDEF release. She recently secured a ruling from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidating an Arizona voter registration law and is currently defending a test case involving the constitutional guarantee of equality in redistricting.

Perales also served as lead counsel for Latino challengers in the Texas 2003 congressional redistricting lawsuit, and argued the case—LULAC v. Perry, (2006) 548 U. S. 399—before the U.S. Supreme Court.

She is a graduate of Brown University and the Columbia University School of Law.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF describes itself as the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization which promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through litigation, advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, and higher education scholarships.


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