Mayor’s brother in the running to become Indiana Supreme Court Justice

The brother of Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop is in the running to become the next Justice on the Indiana Supreme Court.

Mark. A. Lienhoop, who is 59-years-old and lives in LaPorte, has submitted his information to the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) for consideration. Indiana Supreme Court Justice Brent Dickson is retiring this spring and the JNC will recommend three finalists to Gov. Mike Pence to choose from for Justice Dickson’s replacement. The Commission began interviewing candidates on Wednesday. Lienhoop was the final candidate interviewed on the first day.

Officials say that there are 29 candidates for the appointment, with interviews scheduled through the rest of this week. The Court says that these interviews, which last approximately 30 minutes, are open to the public. The Commission is interviewing nine to 10 candidates each of the three days. Once this week’s interviews are complete, the JNC is tasked with selecting finalists who will be interviewed for a second time on March 3 and March 4. The Commission will then publicly vote to send three nominees to the Governor, who has 60 days to select Indiana’s next justice.

The Court’s website says that, in accordance with Indiana’s Constitution and state statute, the seven-member JNC must recruit and select candidates to fill any vacancy on the state’s highest court. The Commission will “review applications, consider applicants’ legal education, writings, reputation in the practice of law, and other pertinent information.”

Mayor Lienhoop says that, like he, his younger brother grew up in Columbus. He says that they both attended high school at the same building, but by the time Mark Lienhoop graduated, the school had been renamed Columbus North.

Along with Indiana, Mark Lienhoop also passed the bar in Illinois. He says that he has since allowed his Illinois license to become inactive, as he has been with the same Indiana law firm for over thirty years. According to his application, Lienhoop is an alumni of Valporaiso University, where he also received his law degree. He currently serves as a Managing Partner with law firm of Newby, Lewis, Kaminski & Jones, LLP in La Porte, where he began as an associate attorney. Prior to joining the firm in 1983, Lienhoop says that he served as a law clerk for a pair of Indiana law firms, as well as for the Honorable Robert H. Staton, who was the Third District Judge in the Indiana Court of Appeals.