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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Story Archive

What Is Amy Coney Barrett's Stance On Issues That Often Arise Before Supreme Court?

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Senate Begins Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

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Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Many Firsts At Confirmation Hearings For Judge Amy Coney Barrett

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The language of Thursday's order suggests the Supreme Court was simply unwilling to make any decision in an abortion case three weeks after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and just days before Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Supreme Court Opens A New Term Amid A Push For Amy Coney Barrett's Confirmation

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The Supreme Court, which begins its new term Monday, is confronting cases related to the election, the Affordable Care Act and religious rights, among others. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Election And A Fresh Obamacare Challenge Loom Over New Supreme Court Term

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Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett looks over to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, could transform the court into the most conservative since the 1930s. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP

Amy Coney Barrett: A Dream For The Right, Nightmare For The Left

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Trump May Announce Amy Coney Barrett As His Nominee To Supreme Court, Source Tells

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Washington Reacts After Trump Says He Won't Commit To Transition Of Power

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett, pictured at the White House on Saturday, is President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

2-Day Event Honors Ginsburg As She Lies In Repose At Supreme Court

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