INDIANAPOLIS — Former Wabash County Superior Court Judge Christopher Goff was sworn in Monday as Indiana’s newest state Supreme Court justice, joining a high court that’s been completely remade since 2010 following a series of retirements.
Chief Justice Loretta Rush administered the oath of office for Goff during the swearing-in at the court’s Statehouse offices.
Goff, 45, is now the court’s youngest member. He succeeds Justice Robert Rucker, who retired in May after 18 years on the court. Rucker retired five years before reaching the court’s mandatory retirement age of 75. In 1999, he became only Indiana’s second black justice when Democratic Gov. Frank O’Bannon named him to the high court.
All five justices are now white and all have been appointed since 2010 by Republican governors to replace justices who retired.
Goff joins Rush and justices Steven David, Mark Massa and Geoffrey Slaughter on the court.
Gov. Eric Holcomb will preside over a ceremonial oath and public robing ceremony on Sept. 1 for Goff, who is expected to hear his first oral arguments with the court on Sept. 7.
Holcomb chose Goff in June to fill the court’s vacancy from among three finalists selected by Indiana’s Judicial Nominating Commission.
Goff said during the June 12 announcement of his appointment to the court that he was deeply humbled and hoped to help build on its tradition of often issuing unanimous decisions.
“I believe in collaboration and I think that judicial decisions are best received if everybody can get behind them,” he said.
Goff, who grew up in northeastern Indiana’s Wabash County, was appointed a Wabash Superior Court judge in 2005 and was later elected twice to that judgeship. A temporary judge is now presiding over that court.
Goff graduated from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1996 and previously worked in a private practice in Huntington County.