SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO – Civil rights attorneys are asking a judge to strike a request by New Mexico officials to end a landmark education case that requires the state to address longstanding deficiencies in the K-12 public education system.

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) filed a motion to strike on Monday, noting that the state’s request to dismiss Martinez v New Mexico failed to meet required deadlines and regulations.

“The state’s motion to dismiss is nothing but political gamesmanship,” said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF. “Apparently dissatisfied with their already-filed oppositions to pending motions, state officials have improperly sought a do-over by filing a motion that is, in practical effect, redundant of their opposition briefing.”

At issue is a 2018 state court ruling that held that New Mexico’s education system violates the state’s constitution because it fails to provide students a sufficient education.

In October, MALDEF filed a request seeking further discovery because attorneys did not have evidence of compliance with that 2018 ruling. In November, New Mexico officials filed their opposition, telling the judge that they were complying with the 2018 ruling.

Last month, however, state officials abruptly filed a motion to dismiss the case even though a judge has yet to rule on MALDEF’s request.

MALDEF attorneys argue that the state’s request for dismissal came too late in the process because it was filed 95 days after MALDEF’s request for more discovery, instead of the 15 days as required.

“The State's second attempt to respond to our request for discovery and enforcement creates unnecessary work for the plaintiffs and the court,” said Ernest Herrera, MALDEF staff attorney. “The motion to dismiss prevents the Court from ruling on our discovery request in an efficient manner.”

Read the motion HERE.