Indiana’s newest Supreme Court justice has been formally seated on the bench.
Mark Massa was publicly sworn in today in the high court chambers. He was appointed by Governor Mitch Daniels to fill the seat left vacant by the retirement of Chief Justice Randall Shepard.
Massa is the 107th person to serve on the Indiana Supreme Court.
“I cannot promise you that I or that we will always be successful in finding the right outcome,” Massa said in a speech, paraphrasing a quote from Mother Teresa. “But we will be faithful. Faithful to the rule of law, faithful to the principles of equal justice, faithful to a promise of patient and civil treatment of lawyers and litigants.”
The 51 year old Massa is a former state and federal prosecutor and one-time general counsel to Daniels, who said that relationship had little bearing on the appointment.
“You fully justified this choice,” Daniels told Massa. “And I would have made it and probably made it more quickly if I had never met you before in my life.”
Massa was chosen from a list of finalists compiled by the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission. Next week the panel will elect a new chief justice.
It also has begun the search for a successor to Justice Frank Sullivan, who’s leaving the court this fall.