Elizabeth Weaver was elected as the 98th Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court in 1995 and was named Chief Justice of the Court in 1999.1
Weaver graduated from Tulane University Law School and began her practice working with an oil company and a private law firm in New Orleans. She eventually relocated to Michigan where she taught first grade and served as the dean of girls at Leelanau School in Glen Arbor. This began her involvement in and dedication to improving the lives of children. In 1974, Weaver was elected as Leelanau County probate judge, a position which she held for over 12 years. Weaver received national recognition for her fair but firm treatment of juvenile delinquents. Her innovative approach called for secured detention of the delinquents, as well as restitution, apologies to victims, community service, and written essays about the purpose of the laws they violated. She was committed to the juvenile justice system and the children who appeared before her.
In 1986, Weaver was elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals, 3rd District. However, her interest in juvenile justice never wavered. She served on numerous committees and commissions dealing with issues ranging from child abuse and neglect to docket control in the probate courts. She also served as chair of Governor John Engler’s Task Force on Children’s Justice.
In 1994, with her election to the Michigan Supreme Court, Justice Elizabeth Weaver had scaled the heights of the Michigan judicial system. But to the many children whose lives she had touched as a teacher, she would forever be known as Aunt Betty.
1Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society Update, Spring 1999.