Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud was elected to the Washington Supreme Court in 2012 and re-elected in 2018 after more than 25 years as an accomplished lawyer serving clients across the state.

As a Supreme Court Justice, she co-Chairs the Court’s Gender & Justice Commission. She also serves as the Court’s liaison to the Washington State Bar’s Council on Public Defense. She is a long time member of the Court’s Rules Committee, responsible for rules governing trials throughout the state – such as rules targeting race discrimination in jury selection. In addition, she speaks regularly at legal and community events throughout the state on topics ranging from the importance of an independent judicial branch to current noteworthy cases. Her dedication and expertise as a Justice have been recognized by groups ranging from Washington Women Lawyers to the Cardozo Society.

Justice McCloud has participated in all the significant cases that the Court has considered in the last decade – and her decisions reflect careful attention to constitutional and individual rights. She authored the Court’s 2017 decision in State v. Arlene’s Flowers; it ruled that Washington’s Law Against Discrimination protects the rights of a gay couple to buy flowers for their wedding from a florist shop that is open to the general public, and that the florist’s religious beliefs cannot bar equal treatment.  She also authored the dissent from the Court’s 2023 decision in State v. Quinn, on Washington’s newly enacted capital gains tax; she emphasized the importance of our state constitution’s language, history, and protections.

McCloud’s judicial independence was foreshadowed by her long career as a lawyer.  She always made time to serve indigent clients, often in the most difficult contests with the government.  She received the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ highest award for “extraordinary courage” in taking on some of the toughest cases. Justice McCloud was 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 also had a teaching role at Seattle University School of Law.  In addition, she has published articles and spoken to legal and community groups on topics ranging from ethics to representation of indigent clients.