Rachel Bloomekatz

rachel@guptawessler.com
202.888.1741
Washington Office: 1900 L Street, NW, Suite 312, Washington, DC 20036
Ohio Office: 1148 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201

Rachel photoRachel Bloomekatz is a principal at Gupta Wessler PLLC, where she focuses on Supreme Court, appellate, and complex litigation.
Rachel served as a law clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Her practice is informed by these clerkship experiences and extensive appellate experience in the public and private sectors.
Rachel has briefed and argued constitutional issues and complex appeals in state and federal appellate courts nationwide and regularly practices before the U.S. Supreme Court. Video recording of Rachel’s arguments have been used as a model to teach effective oral advocacy to many first-year students at Harvard Law School. She has handled cases on a wide range of issues, including election law, public health, class actions, workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights, gun safety, and juvenile justice. She also serves as an advisor to a number of progressive candidates and officeholders, and was the Legal Director for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s 2012 re-election campaign in Ohio.
Highlights of Rachel’s experience include:
  • Represents a group of parents in Butler County, Ohio, who are challenging their school district’s decision to arm teachers at school with inadequate training.
  • Successfully sued Ohio’s Secretary of State and won a ruling recognizing the right of 17-year-olds to vote in Ohio primaries if they will be 18 years old by the general election; represented local election officials in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case over voter-roll purges; and served as counsel to U.S. Senate and House candidates, including Senator Sherrod Brown and Danny O’Connor (candidate for Ohio 12th Congressional District).
  • Co-authored the firm’s briefing in the U.S. Supreme Court in Hernández v. United States, a case arising out of a close-range, cross-border shooting of an unarmed Mexican teenager by a U.S. border patrol agent standing on U.S. soil. A unanimous Supreme Court reversed the en banc Fifth Circuit’s 15-0 holding that the border guard was entitled to qualified immunity.
  • Represents numerous national public-health groups–including the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Public Health Law Center, and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids–in courts throughout the country on issues including tobacco control, sugar-sweetened beverages, federal regulatory policy, preemption, and the First Amendment. Represents these groups in some of the most critical current public health litigation, including challenges to warning labels, soda taxes, and roll-backs of critical federal public health regulations. Also represents Genesee County (Flint, MI) in defending its decision to raise the tobacco-sales age to 21.
  • Successfully briefed and argued an Ohio Supreme Court appeal challenging the 112-year sentence of a juvenile defendant on Eighth Amendment grounds. Former Judge and Ohio Supreme Court expert Marianna Brown Bettman reported:

Moore’s counsel, Rachel Bloomekatz was absolutely spectacular—one of the best oral arguments I have heard. She took control of the argument right from the outset, carefully led the court away from the procedural hurdles, defined the jurisprudential issue for the court as requiring a juvenile non-homicide offender (which she repeatedly emphasized) a meaningful opportunity for release, and stayed on message throughout. She was clear, articulate, focused, and totally non-defensive, even in the light of some very tough questioning.

  • Argued and won a Fourth Circuit appeal defending a major jury verdict and punitive damages award under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Represents local and national environmental groups before the Ohio Supreme Court in their challenge to Ohio ratemaking decisions.
  • Co-authored Supreme Court merits brief in Coventry Health Care v. Nevils, a case regarding federal preemption of state insurance laws.
  • Represents low-income workers in federal class action lawsuits, including pizza delivery drivers denied appropriate wages and exotic dancers who have been misclassified as “renters” and deprived of basic employment protections.
  • Advised the City of Detroit on the reorganization of health care policies and the intricacies of the Affordable Care Act so as to maintain coverage for City retirees despite the City’s bankruptcy
  • In the litigation following the BP Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill, defended class settlement administrator consultant Brown Greer from attempts by BP to discredit its work administering settlements to individuals and businesses harmed by the oil spill.
  • Served as counsel to dozens of detained mothers and children in immigration detention in Artesia, New Mexico, and was the first attorney to obtain release for immigrant children there under a novel theory using a class-action settlement against the Immigration and Naturalization Service from the 1990s.
  • Briefed and argued an appeal in a complex contracts matter in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, obtaining reversal of decisions by the bankruptcy court and district court.
  • In an environmental-protection and tax dispute, briefed critical administrative-law issues in the Ohio Supreme Court regarding a regional sewer district’s authority to implement a comprehensive stormwater plan.
  • On behalf of women’s and veterans’ groups, filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Feres doctrine, which prevents military families from obtaining medical-malpractice recovery for birth injuries sustained by children of active duty mothers (but not fathers) at military hospitals.
Rachel joined Gupta Wessler in March 2016 from Jones Day, where she was a member of that firm’s renowned Issues and Appeals group. Previously, as an Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts focusing on appellate litigation, she defended the Commonwealth’s gun laws, child protection statutes, and other state laws and regulations.
Rachel is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and a graduate of the Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy at UCLA. During law school, she worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center, helping to litigate several class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act on behalf of immigrant workers conducting post-Katrina cleanup operations  in New Orleans. She also worked at the Los Angeles civil rights firm Hadsell Stormer and Rennick, fighting for housekeepers denied breaks at LAX hotels, rocket scientists harmed by discriminatory Bush-era security policies, and other workers, employees, and whistleblowers.
During college, Rachel learned about the critical impact that law can have on the lives of working families, immigrants, and children while volunteering at the nation’s first Medical-Legal Partnership at Boston Medical Center. She was inspired by a small group of female attorneys hired by the Chairman of the Pediatrics Department to help low income families address social and legal issues that needed a lawyer (or an assertive college student) rather than a doctor. This experience has always guided her legal career.
Rachel divides her time between Washington, DC and Columbus, Ohio, where she has taught a course on community lawyering as an adjunct law professor at Ohio State University. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Columbus Jewish Family Services and serves on the executive board of the Columbus Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Rachel has been named a Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers since 2017. She received the Children’s Champion Award from the Children’s Defense Fund of Ohio in 2016 and the Young Progressive Leadership Award from the Central Ohio Chapter of the American Constitution Society in 2017.