Nina Totenberg Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent.
Nina Totenberg at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 21, 2019. (photo by Allison Shelley)
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Nina Totenberg

Allison Shelley/NPR
Nina Totenberg at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 21, 2019. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/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. She is often featured in documentaries — most recently RBG — that deal with issues before the court. As Newsweek put it, "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, including 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 more than two dozen honorary degrees. On a lighter note, in 1992 and 1988 Esquire magazine named her one of the "Women We Love".

A frequent contributor on TV shows, she has also written for major newspapers and periodicals — among them, The New York Times Magazine, The Harvard Law Review, The Christian Science Monitor, and New York Magazine, and others.

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Eugene Scalia (left) talks with Missouri Sen. Kit Bond before Scalia's confirmation hearing to be solicitor of the Labor Department in 2001. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images hide caption

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John Paul Stevens, Retired Supreme Court Justice, Dies At 99

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Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, then 91, works in his office at the Supreme Court on Sept. 28, 2011. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, A Maverick On The Bench, Dies At 99

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Justice Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving member of the current Supreme Court, has views that perhaps can be described only as unique. Some court watchers, however, use other terms: idiosyncratic, eccentric, provocative, thoughtful and, yes, wacky. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Justice Clarence Thomas Will Enter His 29th Term In The Fall

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Chief Justice John Roberts is positioning the Supreme Court in a way that has both conservatives and liberals complaining and wondering what exactly Roberts is trying to do. Jabin Botsford/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Fear And Loathing At The Supreme Court — What Is Chief Justice John Roberts Up To?

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Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan took on more of the consequential writings for the court's liberals this past term. Above, Kagan testifies on Capitol Hill about the court's budget. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chief Justice John Roberts Becomes Supreme Court's Swingman

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Supreme Court Delivers 2 Major 5-4 Decisions

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Supreme Court Rules On Citizenship Question, Partisan Gerrymandering

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Demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in April to protest against the Trump administration's efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Trump Threatens Census Delay After Supreme Court Leaves Citizenship Question Blocked

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People rally in front of the Supreme Court on March 26 as the court hears arguments in redistricting cases. The court ruled that partisan redistricting is a political question, not one that federal courts can weigh in on. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Supreme Court Rules Partisan Gerrymandering Is Beyond The Reach Of Federal Courts

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