News & Publications

Action is Not Activism: Moving Martinez/Yazzie v. State Forward

Posted by Carey Bhalla | Aug 07, 2023

Griffin Arellano

Rothstein Donatelli congratulates Summer Associate Griffin Arellano's on the publication of his article, “Action is Not Activism: Moving Martinez/Yazzie v. State Forward,” in the next edition of the New Mexico Law Review. Griffin was inspired to write about the Yazzie/Martinez case after working for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (“NMCLP”) last summer. NMCLP's work on the case was of high interest to Griffin as a former public high school teacher. Over the course of the summer, Griffin worked with Melissa Candelaria and Alisa Deihl on the NMCLP Education Team, as well as co-counsel Preston Sanchez and Daniel Yohalem, on the continuing litigation of the case. That team provided Griffin with the background and research direction necessary to draft the article as part of his Fall 2022 writing seminar with the New Mexico Law Review. The article was selected for publication as a piece topically relevant to New Mexico and our legal community.

Griffin describes his article as a call to action. Although the late Honorable Judge Singleton ordered the State of New Mexico to revamp its public education system in 2018, with an emphasis on delivering real results for at-risk students, New Mexico communities continue to face systemic failures. While the court did not order the State to come up with a coherent plan for how it would honor its constitutional obligation to provide a “sufficient” education for all students in New Mexico, the State has attempted to do so, and the plaintiffs agree that such a plan is necessary for the transparency and accountability that students and parents are owed. In his article, Griffin points out that the State's “plans” have been lackluster and have remained in their draft form. While acknowledging that recent advances in Pre-K funding, extended schoolyear programming, and other education reform efforts are promising, Griffin argues that New Mexicans deserve a firm commitment from our State as to how, when, under whose direction, and with what money our education system will be made constitutionally sufficient and proposes that a court order for a plan would create that firm commitment.

As a Manuscript Editor, Griffin completes substantive and technical edits of the professional articles that are selected for publication in the New Mexico Law Review by communicating with authors to polish the articles and ensure that they are ready for print. A copy of Griffin's article is available here:

About the Author

Carey Bhalla

Partner - Albuquerque Office