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Morgan L. Ratner


Morgan L. Ratner

Washington, D.C. +1-202-956-7500+1-202-956-7500 +1-202-293-6330+1-202-293-6330
[email protected]

Morgan Ratner is a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Group and is a member of the Firm’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice. She has argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Ratner served in the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice. During her tenure there, she argued Supreme Court cases involving areas of federal law such as securities regulation, bankruptcy, employment, intellectual property, criminal law, and elections law. While at the Solicitor General’s Office, Ms. Ratner also filed over 150 Supreme Court briefs at the merits and certiorari stages. She received a John Marshall Award, the Department of Justice’s highest award offered to attorneys, for exceptional service to the Office of the Solicitor General and the Department of Justice. In private practice, Ms. Ratner regularly briefs and argues appeals and dispositive motions; provides strategic guidance for trial and administrative proceedings; and counsels clients confronting high-stakes legal issues. The U.S. Supreme Court recently appointed her as amicus curiae to defend the Eighth Circuit’s judgment in Jones v. Hendrix, a habeas corpus case that she argued during the October 2022 Term. According to a Bloomberg analysis, Morgan is just the ninth woman of at least 69 such appointments the Court has made since 1926.

After graduating Harvard Law School—where she was awarded the Fay Diploma as the top student in her class—Ms. Ratner clerked for Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court and then-Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She is a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court and is a volunteer with Street Law, Inc.


Cases Argued in the Supreme Court


Intellectual Property:


  • Emulex Corp. v. Varjabedian (2019): whether an inferred private right of action exists under Section 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act for misstatements or omissions made in connection with a tender offer.

Civil and Constitutional Rights:

Criminal Law and Procedure:

  • Caniglia v. Strom (2021): whether the Fourth Amendment permits a non-investigative warrantless home search for “community caretaking.”
  • Holguin-Hernandez v. United States (2020): whether a defendant must object after sentencing to preserve a substantive-reasonableness challenge.
  • Jones v. Hendrix (2022): whether a federal inmate who previously sought postconviction relief may apply for habeas relief after an intervening Supreme Court decision construing his statute of conviction.

Selected Appellate Representations

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance, in appellate litigation arising out of a bellwether case in the national opioid multidistrict litigation, in which two Ohio counties allege that the pharmacy contributed to a public nuisance by dispensing prescription opioids.
  • Goldman Sachs, in a class action alleging securities fraud in connection with mortgage-related activities and alleged conflicts of interest, including securing a rare third discretionary Rule 23(f) appeal before the Second Circuit.
  • Valero Energy Corporation, in a set of consolidated appeals in the D.C. Circuit challenging vehicle-emission and fuel-economy rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Canadian Pacific Railway, in opposing certiorari in a set of lawsuits arising from a train derailment.
  • Major League Baseball, in an appeal before the Second Circuit defending the league’s exemption from the federal antitrust laws.
  • Spirit AeroSystems, in an appeal in the Tenth Circuit arising out of a contract dispute with a former CEO.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups, as amici in two Fair Credit Reporting Act cases, one before the Second Circuit and one before the Eleventh Circuit.​​
Rankings and Recognitions
  • Law360 — Rising Star in Appellate Practice (2022)
  • U.S. Attorney General’s John Marshall Award (2021)
Recent Speaking Engagements
  • March 17, 2022, State and Local Legal Center, Supreme Court Midterm Webinar
  • June 9, 2022, SCOTUS 101 Podcast, Interview
  • June 10-11, 2022, Street Law and Supreme Court Historical Society, Supreme Court Summer Institute – Sessions on Precedent and Appellate Advocacy
  • July 6, 2022, Washington Legal Foundation, The U.S. Supreme Court: October Term 2021 in Review
  • August 3, 2022, National Conference of State Legislatures – Legislative Summit, Supreme Court Center Stage
  • September 16, 2022, William & Mary Law School, 2022 Supreme Court Preview
  • September 26, 2022, SCOTUStalk Podcast, The October Term 2022 Preview


  • Law360 — Rising Star in Appellate Practice (2022)
  • U.S. Attorney General’s John Marshall Award (2021)