Navajo Nation Supreme Court Justices

photo: Kathie Curley
The Honorable Chief Justice Herb Yazzie was confirmed as Chief Justice by the Navajo Nation Council on April 21, 2005.

Chief Justice Yazzie comes from the community of Dennehotso, Tábąąhí clan, born for Kinłichíi'nii, Tó'áhaní (maternal grandparents) and Tódích'íi'nii (paternal grandparents). 

Chief Justice Yazzie has always worked with the Diné in public service.  He served as attorney for DNA People's Legal Services and was legal counsel for the Kayenta Township.  He was a school board member of the school at his community and later a member of the Executive Board of the Navajo Area School Board Association.

Chief Justice Yazzie has also served the Navajo Nation as its Attorney General and as its Chief Legislative Counsel and was an attorney for the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Chief Justice Yazzie is a military veteran, serving a tour in Vietnam as an Army lieutenant. 

He is a 1975 graduate of Arizona State University College of Law. He has been a Utah State Bar member since 1976 and is a member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association.


photo: Kathie Curley

The Honorable Eleanor Shirley was confirmed as a permanent Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on October 19, 2011.

Justice Shirley is from the Nazlini community (20 miles north of Ganado, Arizona).  She is Táchii’nii (Red Running Into Water Clan) born for the Ma’iideeshgiizhnii (Coyote Pass – Jemez Clan). Her maternal grandfather’s clan is Tábaahi (Water Edge Clan) and her paternal grandfather’s clan is Tódich’iinii (Bitter Water Clan). 

Justice Shirley has been serving as an Associate Justice since July 2008. She received confirmation of probationary appointment on July 24, 2008.

Justice Shirley was confirmed as a District Court Judge on October 20, 2006 and served as a District Court Judge at the Crownpoint Judicial District.

Prior to her confirmation, Justice Shirley’s legal career began in 1977 as a Tribal Court Advocate at Chinle DNA – People’s Legal Services Corporation, Chinle, Arizona.  Since then, she has worked with the Navajo people in various capacities with the Navajo Nation Government as a Juvenile Presenting Officer at the Window Rock Prosecutor’s Office, as a Tribal Court Advocate at the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, and as a Legislative Advisor with the Navajo Nation Legislative Branch. She was also a local school board member for the Nazlini BIA School and a Chapter Secretary-Treasurer for the Nazlini Chapter.

Justice Shirley holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and is also a member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association.