When Wabash County Superior Court Judge Christopher Goff sat on his lawn tractor to cut the grass on Saturday, June 10, 2017, he had no idea he would receive a telephone call from the state governor inviting him to take up a seat on the Indiana Supreme Court. Judge Goff described the experience as, “humbling beyond words.” His appointment to the five-member bench makes the court unanimously Republican.
Judge Goff replaces Justice Robert Rucker, who retired at the age of 70 in May 2017. He was five years younger than the state’s mandatory retirement age. Rucker was the lone Democrat until his retirement. One of the greatest jurors in the state, according to Judge Goff, Rucker became only the second black judge to serve on the high court when he was appointed to the bench by Democratic Governor Frank O’Bannon in 1999 .
Judge Christopher M. Goff
While most of the other members of the Indiana Supreme Court grew up in urban or suburban regions of the state, Judge Goff, who springs from a rural working class neighborhood, brings a unique perspective to the state judiciary.
Republican Governor Eric Holcomb appointed Goff to the Wabash County Superior Court in July 2005. Judge Goff was re-elected in 2014. Before serving on the bench, he was a partner at Mills, Northrop & Goff. He had also served as a public defense attorney in Huntington County. He graduated from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1996 after completing his undergraduate education at Ball State University.
Initially, Judge Goff will sit on the Indiana Supreme Court for four years from 2017 to 2021. To remain on the Superior Court bench, Judge Goff will have to stand for re-election in 2020.