Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Governor Names Massa to High Court Daniels Catches Flak for Not Picking Female Successor

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Governor Names Massa to High Court Daniels Catches Flak for Not Picking Female Successor

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - Mark Massa, a former reporter for The Evansville Press whose background in Republican politics has included a stint as general counsel to Gov. Mitch Daniels, was named Friday to the Indiana Supreme Court. Massa, 51, fills a vacancy on the court created by the retirement of Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, an Evansville native for whom he once clerked.

In selecting Massa, Daniels said he is "100 percent certain" he chose the best of the three finalists recommended to him by a nominating panel.

"How appropriate that he began his lengthy and multifaceted legal career clerking for Randy Shepard on the Supreme Court. Among the many reasons I think he'll be a superb successor is the way in which his career was launched," Daniels said.

Massa said he was humbled to be replacing the man he considers "my judge" on the court - appointed by "my governor." "It is the greatest honor I will ever enjoy," he said.

Other finalists for the seat recommended to Daniels by the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission were Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford and Indiana Judicial Center executive director Jane Seigel.

Immediately after the appointment, Daniels was criticized for failing to choose a woman. Indiana has had only one female justice in the state's history - Myra Selby, who was appointed by Gov. Evan Bayh in 1995 but returned to private practice in 1999.

Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson, D-Ellettsville, took to Twitter to call it "unfortunate." Ann DeLaney, a former Indiana Democratic Party chairwoman, complained about it on the Indiana Week in Review television show on WFYI-Indianapolis. Daniels noted that he chose a woman, Becky Skillman, to run for lieutenant governor, and another woman, Connie Lawson, as Indiana secretary of state. He also named a woman to the Indiana Court of Appeals and named a female tax judge. …

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