(1941 – 2015)
Justice Elizabeth “Betty” Weaver was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1994, serving as chief justice from 1999 to 2001. Previously, she was a Michigan Court of Appeals judge from 1987 to 1995, and a probate judge from 1975 to 1987. She consistently issues incisive and straightforward opinions, and during her tenure as Michigan’s Chief Justice, Weaver oversaw the acceptance of integrated trial court operations and the development of family court and specialized drug courts.
A native of New Orleans, Justice Weaver graduated from Newcomb College and Tulane University Law School. Justice Weaver practiced law in Louisiana, and after moving to Michigan, she taught first grade and high school French in Leelanau County and opened a private law practice.
Known throughout her judicial career as an advocate for young people, Justice Weaver has worked on a number of statewide committees and commissions that emphasize the needs of children. She is the longest-serving member of the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice. In this capacity she has influenced statewide policies regarding the fair treatment of young offenders. Hailed for her tough, compassionate, and common-sense approach to sentencing, Justice Weaver made a difference for countless Michigan children as she helped them turn their lives around. As the chairperson of the Governor’s Task Force on Children’s Justice, she helped develop child abuse investigative and forensic interviewing protocols for abused children. She supported the development of the state’s Child Death Review program, which has become the nation’s premier CDR program.
Justice Weaver’s numerous honors and awards include being selected as one of “Thirty Outstanding Women in Michigan” by the Michigan Women’s Commission. In 1999, she was named “Jurist of the Year” by the Police Officers Association of Michigan. Weaver is involved in many community organizations including Zonta and the Grand Traverse Leelanau Commission on Youth’s Steering Committee. Recognized in 2000 by Governor Engler and the Family Independence Agency for outstanding service to the children and families of Michigan, Justice Elizabeth “Betty” Weaver is a true hero for Michigan’s children.