IBJNews

Daniels names former counsel Massa to high court

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A former newspaper reporter and top legal adviser to Gov. Mitch Daniels has been named to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Mark Massa, 50, was introduced Friday by Daniels, who filled a vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.

The court's newest justice serves as executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. He was Daniels' chief counsel from 2006 to 2010, when he resigned for an unsuccessful run for Marion County prosecutor. He also has worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and as a deputy prosecutor in Marion County.

He clerked for Shepard and worked as an aide to then-Gov. Robert Orr in the late 1980s, and had been a newspaper reporter in Evansville.

"He has seen the law from private and public sides. He is one of the finest prosecutors ever to come to the bench in this state," Daniels said of Massa.

Massa called his appointment "a sobering responsibility and an honor."

"It is really beyond words," he said.

Massa was one of three finalists for the vacancy. The others were Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford and Indianapolis attorney Jane Seigel.

Daniels said Massa's history as his official counsel hadn't given him any advantage.

"Obviously, I think very highly of Mark's talents. But in all honesty I think it operated against him. I may have underestimated how highly others thought of him," Daniels said.

He said he selected Massa in part for his belief in "judicial restraint ... and a disinclination to make law from the bench."

Massa said he believes that judges should look to the "plain meaning" of the state and federal constitutions, and only try to interpret the writers' intent when the meaning isn't apparent.

Joel Schumm, a professor at the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis who studies the state judiciary, said Massa was expected to be a "top contender" for the court vacancy since a judicial commission began reviewing the applications in January, due to his qualifications and his ties to Daniels and Shepard.

"If Mr. Massa is interested in being chief justice, he will have a strong shot at the position. The same Judicial Nominating Commission, which just named him as a finalist, will select the chief justice. The commission obviously knows and respects him," Schumm said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller praised Massa's appointment.

"Mark Massa has excellent credentials that he brings as the new justice. Mark is greatly respected in legal circles and follows in a long tradition of outstanding jurisprudence. I look forward to his continuing service to the state of Indiana," Zoeller said in a statement.

Massa is the second justice Daniels has appointed since taking office in 2004. He named Steven David, a decorated Army officer who once served as chief defense counsel for Guantanamo Bay detainees, to the bench in 2010 following the retirement of Justice Theodore Boehm.

Indiana has not had a female Supreme Court justice since Myra Selby stepped down in 1999 after five years on the bench.

Shepard's retirement was effective Friday after 27 years on the court. Though Massa fills the vacancy, a judicial commission will select the new chief justice from among the Supreme Court's five justices.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • No women since 1999!
    I know these appointments should be based on qualifications but I can not believe in 2012 that there are no women who have the qualifications to be a member of the Indiana State Supreme Court. Ridiculous.
  • AMEN
    The title says it all...corruption will win
  • What a surprise
    What a suprise, the gov paysoff another polictical hack. Massa is just another example of Mitch. I am surprised Mitch did not consider his bud Mitch Robb. The choices the gov makes never cease to amaze me. Massa could not get elected prosecuter, so the gov makes sure that he has a job for life. Great, another 50yr old to run a court that deserves better.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

    2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

    3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

    4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

    5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

    ADVERTISEMENT