Associate Justice Eleanor Shirley has been confirmed as a permanent Associate Justice of the Navajo Nation Supreme Court. Window Rock District Court Judge Carol Perry gave Justice Shirley the oath of office after the Navajo Nation Council passed the confirmation legislation on Oct. 19.
Justice Shirley was initially appointed by then President Joe Shirley as a probationary Associate Justice on June 27, 2008, and was confirmed by the Council for a probationary term on July 24, 2008.
Pursuant to Navajo Nation law at 7 N.N.C. § 355, an Associate Justice is appointed by the President of the Navajo Nation and confirmed by the Council. A justice must serve a two-year probationary period. At the conclusion of the probationary term, the record and qualifications of the probationary justice are reviewed by the Law and Order Committee, which then issues its recommendation to the President.
The Law and Order Committee recommended Justice Shirley for permanent appointment on July 27, 2011, and President Ben Shelly issued the formal appointment letter on Aug. 29.
Previous to her work as an Associate Justice, Shirley was a district court judge at Crownpoint Judicial District. Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Justice Shirley has worked as a tribal court advocate with DNA-People's Legal Services, a juvenile presenting officer at the Office of the Prosecutor, a tribal court advocate with the Department of Justice and as a legislative advisor for the Transportation and Community Development Committee. She has been a member in good standing of the Navajo Nation Bar Association since December 1977. Shirley graduated from Fort Lewis College with a bachelor's degree in political science.