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Gov. Rick Snyder appoints Elizabeth Clement to Michigan Supreme Court, announces new chief legal counsel and senior counsel

Friday, November 17, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – Elizabeth Clement, a skilled legal expert with experience in both the executive and legislative branches of government, was appointed today to the Michigan Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Snyder. Travis W. Weber will replace her as the governor’s new chief legal counsel and Frederick Headen will join the office as senior legal counsel.

Clement, of East Lansing, fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Justice Joan Larsen, who was appointed by President Donald Trump to the federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and confirmed by the Senate earlier this month.

“Beth is an exceptional attorney and leader who brings experience from various branches of government and areas of private practice to the state’s highest court,” Snyder said. “She is highly regarded by judges and her peers, and brings incredible skill to this role. I know Beth to be fair, a great thinker and someone who will faithfully adhere to the proper role of the judiciary. Her talent will be a great asset as the Supreme Court continues its work to improve efficiencies in courts statewide.”

Clement currently serves as chief legal counsel to the governor where she provides legal counsel to the governor and executive office on a broad array of subjects. Prior to that she was deputy chief of staff in the executive office and deputy legal counsel. She previously worked in the Senate Majority Policy Office, as an attorney at Clement Law PLLC, and as legal counsel in the Senate. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Michigan State University and her juris doctor degree from the MSU College of Law.

“Beth Clement is one of the brightest legal minds of her generation,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. “She has been an invaluable leader in our administration and will be an excellent addition to the Michigan Supreme Court.” 

Weber, of Lansing, currently serves as deputy legal counsel to the governor. Prior to that he was deputy legal counsel and senior policy advisor to former House Speaker Jase Bolger, and worked as an attorney at Clark Hill PLC in Grand Rapids. Weber earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his juris doctor degree from Valparaiso Law.

Frederick Headen, of Haslett, will join the legal office as senior legal counsel to the governor. Headen has served in several positions at the Michigan Department of Treasury since 1997, including as the director of the Bureau of Local Government Services and legal advisor to the state treasurer. He previously worked at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. Headen earned a bachelor’s degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University, a master’s degree from the School of Labor and Industrial Relations at Michigan State University, and his juris doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. 

Supreme Court justices serve eight-year terms. Incoming Justice Clement may seek election in 2018 for a full eight-year term.

Clement is married to Tom Clement and has four children.

Under Article VI, Section 23 of the state constitution, the Supreme Court appointment belongs to the governor alone.