Indiana’s Supreme Court is back to its full five members as Gov. Eric Holcomb announces his selection of Wabash County Judge Christopher Goff to join the bench.
Holcomb says few decisions he’ll make as governor will be as impactful as his appointment of Goff. Holcomb calls the Ball State graduate a critical and forward thinker who believes in judicial restraint.
“Judge Goff will be a fierce defender of the law and the Constitution. He has a stellar legal mind, exceptional judgment,” Holcomb says.
Chief Justice Loretta Rush commended what she called the Holcomb administration’s “diligence” in selecting a new justice.
“Judge Goff will tell you – there were writing assignments, multiple trips to the community, multiple questions,” Rush says. “It was quite the gauntlet.”
Goff says he understands the weight and responsibility of the role he assumes.
He describes his judicial philosophy as that of an originalist and a textualist. Subscribers to that philosophy – such as late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – interpret laws and the Constitution based on their plain meaning at the time they were written.
Goff adds he believes it’s important to build consensus.
“And I hope to build on the tradition that the Supreme Court of Indiana has of working towards unanimous decisions,” Goff says.
And he says he never thought he’d reach this level in his career.
“My wife and I were married at the Wabash County Courthouse in 1993. When I started my career in Huntington, we had a 1986 Dodge Colt, $70 and two kids,” Goff says. “And if you would have told me then I would be on the Indiana Supreme Court, I would’ve told you you didn’t know what you were talking about."
Goff replaces Justice Robert Rucker, who retired earlier this year. His swearing-in has not been set.