High court won’t hear appeal over McCloskeys’ law licenses

Posted at 8:22 PM, June 6, 2022 and last updated 4:58 PM, July 14, 2023

By JIM SALTER Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the husband-and-wife attorneys whose law licenses were placed on probation for pointing guns at racial injustice protesters outside their St. Louis mansion in 2020.

Mark McCloskey, who is seeking the Republican nomination for one of Missouri’s U.S. Senate seats in the August primary, said he wasn’t surprised by the high court’s decision since it takes up relatively few cases.

FILE – In this June 28, 2020 file photo, armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey, stand in front their house confronting protesters marching to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house in the Central West End of St. Louis. The City Counselor’s Office told a judge during a virtual hearing Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, that the guns taken from the McCloskeys have not been disposed of. The McCloskeys pleaded guilty to misdemeanors last year and were ordered to forfeit the guns. Mark McCloskey’s lawsuit says a subsequent pardon from Republican Gov. Mike Parson means they should get their weapons back. The city disagrees. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)

“I was a little disappointed because I thought that the concept of a lawyer being sanctioned for doing no more than just defending himself and exercising his Second Amendment rights would be an issue that the Supreme Court might find significant,” McCloskey said.

The Missouri Supreme Court in February placed the couple’s licenses on probation for one year, allowing them to continue to practice law. They must also provide 100 hours of free legal service. The appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court sought to end the probation.

Last month, the state’s high court denied the McCloskeys’ request to provide free legal service to the conservative activist group Project Veritas to meet the pro bono requirement. The organization is known for hidden camera stings that have embarrassed news outlets, labor organizations and Democratic politicians.

St. Louis-based lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey speak outside the Republican campaign office in downtown Scranton, Pa., during an appearance with former congressman Lou Barletta for a Trump campaign event on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. The McCloskeys received national attention in June when they pulled guns on Black Lives Matter protesters who broke into their gated community and marched past their home. (Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune via AP)

Mark McCloskey has said he and his wife felt threatened in June 2020 when demonstrators walked onto their private street during global protests that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mark McCloskey emerged from his home with an AR-15-style rifle, and Patricia McCloskey waved a semi-automatic pistol. No shots were fired.

The pair received national attention, including from then-President Donald Trump, and spoke via video at the 2020 Republican National Convention.

They pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for the gun-waving incident and were fined. Republican Gov. Mike Parsons pardoned them in August.