Catherine Meza serves as Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”), where she litigates voting rights cases.
Catherine is counsel in Harding v. Edwards, where, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a federal district court granted a preliminary injunction expanding early voting for all Louisiana voters and extending access to absentee mail-in voting for voters most susceptible to the risks imposed by COVID-19. She also represented plaintiffs in Alabama State Conference of the NAACP v. Pleasant Grove, where a settlement in which the City of Pleasant Grove, Alabama, changed its method of electing its city council from at-large to cumulative voting resulted in the first elected-Black city council members in the city’s history.
Prior to joining LDF, Catherine served as a Trial Attorney in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, where she investigated and litigated matters concerning federal voting rights laws. During her time at the Department of Justice, Catherine served as the lead trial attorney for the United States in a challenge under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act against certain restrictive provisions of an omnibus elections law passed by the North Carolina legislature in 2013. Based on the record developed at trial, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit concluded that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Voting Rights Act. In 2012 and 2016, Catherine was awarded a Distinguished Service Award from the United States Department of Justice’s Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
Catherine received her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she served as a Notes and Comments Editor of the California Law Review. She also holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. with honors from New York University.