Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 26, 2010


Justice ends 16 years on Supreme Court

TRAVERSE CITY — Justice Elizabeth Weaver, of Glen Arbor, whose frequent battles with fellow Republican justices over the past decade exposed deep political and personal rifts on the Michigan Supreme Court, plans to resign today.

Weaver, 69, decided to step down after she secured Gov. Jennifer Granholm's promise to appoint a northern Michigan jurist to replace her on the state's highest court.

"I have done all that I can do as a justice and now believe that I can be of most use as a citizen in helping further the critically needed reforms of the judicial system," Weaver said in an exclusive interview with the Record-Eagle. "Now I will be able to work and speak freely."

Weaver said she would not have resigned without Granholm's agreement to select a northern Michigan replacement. A justice from northern Michigan brings independence and a different perspective to a court currently dominated by justices from the Detroit to Lansing beltway, she said.

"I think I'm proof of the pudding; I'm independent," she said. "That independent-thinking judge is not agenda-driven and does not hold to political party lines."

Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said Weaver expressed an interest in retiring for some time, but just recently notified Granholm of her decision. Boyd would not disclose the identity of Weaver's successor, but said Granholm would make an announcement at noon today.

A judicial appointment is Granholm's to make, and does not require legislative approval. Weaver's departure comes two days before Republicans and Democrats select their nominees for election to the Supreme Court.

"The governor is always interested in appointing a well-qualified person for the judiciary," Boyd said. "The governor shares Justice Weaver's belief that the court have geographic diversity and an appointee from northern Michigan is very important."

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