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, 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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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's signature is seen on the single article of impeachment against President Trump. The case against the president now moves to the U.S. Senate, which will consider the article after Trump is no longer in office. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP

Can The Senate Try An Ex-President?

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What Will The Courts Look Like Under Joe Biden?

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Anti-abortion rights activists demonstrate at the Supreme Court in Washington on Oct. 5. The court's new conservative supermajority puts the fate of Roe v. Wade in doubt. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Supreme Court's New Supermajority: What It Means For Roe v. Wade

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Election cases are among those before the U.S. Supreme Court, though none that will change President Trump's defeat. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Religion, Abortion, Guns And Race. Just The Start Of A New Supreme Court Menu

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LEAP fellows Astrid Saenz, Fatima Salcido, and Victor Briseno participating in a law school application workshop. Carrie Sommer/Courtesy of Cindy Lopez hide caption

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Carrie Sommer/Courtesy of Cindy Lopez

Supreme Court Dodges Trump's Plan To Exclude Undocumented Immigrants From Census

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Protesters carrying signs about the census gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019. Immigrant rights advocates have vowed to continue fighting President Trump's proposal. Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images hide caption

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Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Supreme Court Punts Census Case, Giving Trump An Iffy Chance To Alter Numbers

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Supreme Court To Hear Case Over NCAA's Limits On Compensation For Student Athletes

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Supreme Court Rejects Texas' Lawsuit Over Election Results

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, seen here with President Trump in June in Dallas, sued four states that Joe Biden carried in the general election, claiming their changes to election procedures during the pandemic violated federal law. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Supreme Court Shuts Door On Texas Suit Seeking To Overturn Election

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