McGraw-Hill's Standard & Poor's unit urged a federal judge to throw out the Justice Department's allegations that the company's mortgage-backed securities ratings were fraudulent.

S&P claimed that government lawyers overreached in their attempt to target the company.

"If the government’s case appears to be a stretch, that is because it is," the company said. "S&P’s inability, together with the Federal Reserve, Treasury and other market participants, to predict the extent of the most catastrophic meltdown since the Great Depression reveals a lack of prescience but not fraud."