Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud was elected to the Washington Supreme Court in 2012 after nearly 30 years as an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer.
She is now an experienced Supreme Court Justice and serves as Chair of the Washington State Supreme Court’s Gender & Justice Commission and is a member of the State Bar Association’s Council on Public Defense. She was the recipient of Washington Women Lawyers President’s Award in 2015 and speaks regularly at legal and community events throughout the state.
Justice McCloud has participated in many significant cases that have come before the Supreme Court. She authored the Court’s 2017 opinion in State v. Arlene’s Flowers, where the Court unanimously held that Washington’s Law Against Discrimination protects the rights of a gay couple seeking to buy flowers for their wedding and held that the religious beliefs of the shop owner are not a bar to equal treatment.
In addition, Justice McCloud, along with her fellow justices, continues to grapple with the State’s constitutional obligation to provide our children with a fully funded education, with the state’s duty to respect our constitutional rights to privacy, with employees’ right to join and participate in unions, and with all of our rights to free speech under the First Amendment and the Washington Constitution.
McCloud’s work upholding Constitutional rights as a Justice follows a career spent fighting for Constitutional rights as a lawyer. She received the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ highest award, the William O. Douglas Award, for that work. They recognized her for “extraordinary courage” in being willing to take on some of the toughest cases. As a lawyer in private practice, Justice McCloud was also an invited member of the American Association of Appellate Lawyers and a founding member of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association, both of which limit membership to the most accomplished appellate lawyers.
Justice McCloud taught classes at Seattle University School of Law on a variety of topics including appellate advocacy and the death penalty. She has published articles and spoken to law and community groups on topics ranging from ethics to representation of those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.
Justice McCloud lives in Kitsap County with her husband Michael McCloud, who is an educator in the public schools. They have two grown sons.