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

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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, Esquire magazine twice 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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Story Archive

The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving an officer who pursued a misdemeanor suspect into his home without a warrant. Jose Luis Magana/AP hide caption

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Jose Luis Magana/AP

The Supreme Court Wrestles With 'Police Chase' That Wasn't

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SCOTUS Hears Case On Whether Police Can Enter Homes For Misdemeanors Without Warrants

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Supreme Court Paves Way For N.Y. Grand Jury To Get Trump's Financial Records

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Judge David Tatel, who sits on the powerful U.S Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, announced his plans to step down, giving President Biden two vacancies on the influential court to fill. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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New Vacancy On D.C. Circuit Gives Biden Boost In Filling Judicial Nominations

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Lawyer Bruce Castor, a member of former President Donald Trump's legal team, is seen on Capitol Hill on Monday. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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'I Said The Opposite': Criticism Of Trump's Impeachment Defense Intensifies

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The Supreme Court said California can no longer continue with a ban on indoor church services put in place amid the pandemic. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

In this picture taken in 2014, the medieval portable altar of Eilbertus a part of the Guelph treasure, is displayed at the Bode Museum in Berlin. The treasure's complicated history found itself at the U.S. Supreme Court. Markus Schreiber/AP hide caption

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Supreme Court Says Germany Can't Be Sued In Nazi-Era Art Case

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In a pre-trial brief released on Tuesday, House impeachment managers argue former President Donald Trump whipped a crowd of supporters into a "frenzy" on Jan. 6 and incited the ensuing riot at the U.S. Capitol. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images hide caption

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Impeachment Managers Argue Trump Is 'Singularly Responsible' For Capitol Attack

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