Asa Mathat
Nina Totenberg
Asa Mathat

Nina Totenberg

Correspondent, Legal Affairs

Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.

Totenberg's coverage of the Supreme Court and legal affairs has won her widespread recognition. Newsweek says, "The mainstays [of NPR] are Morning Edition and All Things Considered. But the creme de la creme is Nina Totenberg."

In 1991, her ground-breaking report about University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment by Judge Clarence Thomas led the Senate Judiciary Committee to re-open Thomas's Supreme Court confirmation hearings to consider Hill's charges. NPR received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for its gavel-to-gavel coverage — anchored by Totenberg — of both the original hearings and the inquiry into Anita Hill's allegations, and for Totenberg's reports and exclusive interview with Hill.

That same coverage earned Totenberg additional awards, among them: the Long Island University George Polk Award for excellence in journalism; the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting; the Carr Van Anda Award from the Scripps School of Journalism; and the prestigious Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based national affairs/public policy reporting, which also acknowledged her coverage of Justice Thurgood Marshall's retirement.

Totenberg was named Broadcaster of the Year and honored with the 1998 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the National Press Foundation. She is the first radio journalist to receive the award. She is also the recipient of the American Judicature Society's first-ever award honoring a career body of work in the field of journalism and the law. In 1988, Totenberg won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her coverage of Supreme Court nominations. The jurors of the award stated, "Ms. Totenberg broke the story of Judge (Douglas) Ginsburg's use of marijuana, raising issues of changing social values and credibility with careful perspective under deadline pressure."

Totenberg has been honored seven times by the American Bar Association for continued excellence in legal reporting and has received a number of honorary degrees. On a lighter note, in 1992 and 1988 Esquire magazine named her one of the "Women We Love".

A frequent contributor to major newspapers and periodicals, she has published articles in The New York Times Magazine, The Harvard Law Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Parade Magazine, New York Magazine, and others.

Before joining NPR in 1975, Totenberg served as Washington editor of New Times Magazine, and before that she was the legal affairs correspondent for the National Observer.

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Story Archive

Supreme Court Wraps Up Term With A Raft Of Opinions

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Supreme Court Reinstates Part Of Trump's Travel Ban, Agrees To Hear Case

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The confluence of the St. Croix, top, and Mississippi Rivers, bottom, is seen from the air on May 31, 2012. Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Environmentalists Rejoice: Court Says Land Regulation Doesn't Go 'Too Far'

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Supreme Court Sides With Wisconsin In Property Rights Case

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Supreme Court Sets Higher Bar For Revoking U.S. Citizenship

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Chief Justice John Roberts (second from right) and Justice Neil Gorsuch (center) walk down the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., last week. The court is wrapping up its term, with a handful of consequential cases decided on Monday. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Supreme Court Rules Post-9/11 Detainees Can't Sue Top U.S. Officials

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Kentucky attorney John Bush, nominated by President Trump for a seat on the 6th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP hide caption

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Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

Senators Grill Trump Judicial Nominees On Provocative Blog Posts

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Immigrants pose with U.S citizenship certificates in front of a large U.S. flag after a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center in February. A Supreme Court decision Monday will put the foreign-born children of unmarried American fathers on equal footing with those of unwed American mothers. That may mean longer waits for the latter, at least in the short term. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

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Jae C. Hong/AP

High Court Strikes Down Law Favoring Unwed Mothers Over Unwed Fathers

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Gender-Based Citizenship Rules

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Don McGahn, lawyer for Donald Trump and his campaign, leaves the Four Seasons Hotel after a meeting with Trump and Republican donors on June 9, 2016, in New York City. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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'The Quiet Man': The Powerful Conservative White House Lawyer In The Middle Of It All

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White House Counsel Don McGahn Finds Himself At Center Of Controversy

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