Candidates for Supreme Court vacancy announced

By Zoie Richey

 INDIANAPOLIS — The Judicial Nominating Commission has selected three nominees to fill the Indiana Supreme Court justice vacancy.

Justice Robert Rucker is retiring on May 12 after serving for 26 years.

The commission narrowed down the field from 21 applicants to the final three: Vicki Carmichael, Christopher Goff and Matthew Kincaid.

“I think all three of the finalists are very well qualified. The governor can’t go wrong in selecting any one of the three,” said Joel Schumm, clinical professor of law at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. “They have distinguished backgrounds as trial judges and as lawyers before that.”

Schumm sat in on the finalist interviews, and said the process allowed people to learn a lot about the court system.

Once the Judicial Nominating Commission submits a report to Gov. Eric Holcomb, the governor has 60 days to appoint one of the three nominees.

“They’re people who I think would represent Indiana judiciary well,” Schumm said.


Clark Circuit Judge Vicki Carmichael, 54

Headshot of Vicki Carmichael.

Carmichael grew up in Bloomington, but she currently resides in Clark County. She received her law degree at the University of Louisville and has been a member of the Indiana State Bar Association since October 1988.

Her experience serving as a staff attorney for Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Charles Leibson allowed her to review trial transcripts and appellate briefs. In private practice, she handled criminal, civil and family law matters.

Carmichael applied for a vacancy last year and made it to the top15.

Wabash Superior Court Judge Christopher Goff, 44

Christopher Goff

Goff is a life-long resident of Wabash and earned his law degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Goff has been a member of the Indiana State Bar Association since June 1997.

His general area of practice dealt with domestic relations and criminal cases. He also practiced in collections, wills and estates, personal injury, and a number of small businesses.

Boone Superior Court Judge Matthew Kincaid, 46

Matthew Kincaid

Kincaid was born in Lebanon, but currently resides in Boone. He received his law degree at the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law and has been a member of the Indiana State Bar Association since November 1997.

His main area of practice dealt with civil litigation and defended employers in workers’ compensation cases.

Last year, Kincaid joined Carmichael as a finalist in the top 15, but he was the only one who made it to the top three.

The five members of the Supreme Court hear appeals of decisions from the appellate courts and handles death penalty and life without parole cases.

Zoie Richey is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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