Nina Totenberg i
Steve Barrett/NPR
Nina Totenberg
Steve Barrett/NPR

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.

[+] read more[-] less

Purchase Featured Book

The Complete Transcripts of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill Hearings: October 11, 12, 13, 1991

Purchase Book

Buy Featured Book

Title
The Complete Transcripts of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill Hearings: October 11, 12, 13, 1991
Author
Nina Totenberg (Introduction) , Anita Miller (Editor)

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Supreme Court Wraps Up Term With Far-Reaching Decision On Abortion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483811500/483811501" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Supreme Court Finds Texas Law On Abortion Providers Unconstitutional

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483715638/483717306" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Elizabeth Warren speaks at the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 5, 2012, in Charlotte, N.C. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: From Professor To Pugilist

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483123804/483665276" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Supreme Court Expected To Rule On Abortion Case

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483624325/483624326" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Donald Verrilli speaks outside the Supreme Court in Washington after arguments about the death penalty on Jan. 7, 2008. He became solicitor general in 2011. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

toggle caption Evan Vucci/AP

The Man Who Argued Health Care For Obama Looks Back As He Steps Down

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483257447/483499867" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Supreme Court Issues Orders On Immigration, Affirmative Action

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483337075/483337076" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action In College Admissions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483275212/483275213" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Supreme Court Decisions Uphold Affirmative Action, Shelve Immigration Program

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/483244359/483249038" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A critic of the New York City Police Department stop-and-frisk policy wears a shirt outlining a citizen's search rights at a City Council meeting in August 2013. The Supreme Court ruled Monday in an unrelated case that even if police stop someone without cause, if a reason is then found to search them, any evidence collected is admissible in court. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Justice Sotomayor Delivers Blistering Dissent In Utah Search Case

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482832733/482832734" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Merrick Garland, President Obama's choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, spoke at the graduation ceremony for J.O. Wilson Elementary School, where he has tutored students for nearly two decades. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Supreme Court Nominee's Advice To 5th-Graders: 'Be The Brave One'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/482206242/482206243" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jon Elswick/AP

Supreme Court Overturns Death Sentence In Judge Recusal Case

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/481433854/481433855" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Donald Trump has landed in hot water again, saying that a judge in a fraud case against Trump University is biased against him because he is "Mexican." Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Who Is Judge Gonzalo Curiel, The Man Trump Attacked For His Mexican Ancestry?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/481140881/481178956" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">