(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana has a new justice on its Supreme Court.
Governor Mitch Daniels selected Mark Massa from a short list of finalists on Friday. The 51-year-old Massa will replace Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, who retired last week.
“Any selection of a person to the highest court in our state is among the most serious calls any governor can be called on to make. When you are trying to find a replacement for Randy Shepard it is even a more sobering and challenging experience,” said Daniels. “I am very happy to tell you that we have found a superb choice for that job in Mark Massa.
Massa is a former Evansville newspaper reporter who once served as the governor’s chief counsel from 2006 to 2010. He worked as Shepard’s law clerk from 1991 to 1993, researching and writing legal briefs and assisting with the drafting of Supreme Court decisions.
Massa said the appointment “is a sobering responsibility and an honor beyond words.”
“As Chief Justice Shepard noted in his final State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly in January, there cannot be a better cause or way to spend one’s life than in working toward greater justice. I have tried to serve that cause throughout my legal career, and I look forward to serving it further and faithfully on our state’s highest court. I am so humbled and grateful for the opportunity,” said Massa.
Although he replaces the chief justice, Massa will not be given that title. Indiana's Judicial Nominating Commission will select a new chief justice from among the court's five justices in the coming months.
Indiana Court of Appeals judge Cale Bradford and Indianapolis attorney Jane Seigel were the other two finalists.
Seigel would have been Indiana’s first female justice since Myra Selby left after five years on the bench in 1999.