Weaver leaves Mich. SC, replaced by appellate judge

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 31, 2010, 12:33pm


LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth "Betty" Weaver has resigned from the state's highest court.

Weaver announced her decision to step down late last week. Her resignation became effective Thursday.

Weaver, a Republican, had planned to seek re-election as an Independent. However, in a letter announcing her resignation, she wrote, "After considerable deliberation, thought and prayer, I have concluded that I have done all 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, a 69-year-old resident of Glen Arbor, has served on the state Supreme Court since 1994. In recent years, she and her fellow Republican justices on the court have clashed publicly over court policy.

However, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm praised Weaver for her lifelong effort to protect the state's children and young people, and her unwavering commitment to an independent, fair and balanced judicial system.

"For 36 years, Justice Weaver has served the citizens of Michigan as a judge and a fighter for fair, common-sense justice," Granholm said in a statement. "She has been a tireless advocate for Michigan's children and families and a strong proponent of an independent and balanced judiciary."

Granholm also announced the appointment of Judge Alton Thomas Davis to serve as a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, filling the vacancy created by Weaver's resignation.

Davis, of Grayling, currently serves on the 4th District Court of Appeals. Prior to being appointed to the Court of Appeals by Granholm in 2005, Davis served as chief judge of the 46th Circuit Court representing Crawford, Kalkaska and Otsego counties.

"Justice Davis is the most experienced jurist I have ever appointed to the bench," Granholm said in a statement. "He has been universally praised by those who appear before him, by fellow judges, and by people from both political parties.

"Justice Davis is someone who can bring a sense of collegiality and gravitas to the Michigan Supreme Court as a seasoned, unflappable, no-nonsense steady hand."

The governor's appointment of Davis also became effective Thursday. The appointment is not subject to disapproval.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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