Nina Totenberg Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent.
Nina Totenberg
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Nina Totenberg

Asa Mathat
Nina Totenberg
Asa Mathat

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.

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Planned Parenthood opened its new headquarters in Washington, D.C., in September. The Supreme Court declined to take up a key case, a big win for the organization. Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Double Jeopardy Case Heard By Supreme Court Could Have Implications For Mueller

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A decision barring dual prosecutions could allow some of those already convicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe to get off scot-free if President Trump were to pardon them. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

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This Supreme Court Case Could Impact The Mueller Probe And Boost Trump's Pardon Power

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether a state has to adhere to the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause. That could have consequences for civil forfeiture in crimes. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Supreme Court Appears Ready To Make It Harder For States To Confiscate Property

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Supreme Court To Take Up Ban On Excessive Fines

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Supreme Court: Should Eastern Oklahoma Be Considered An Indian Reservation?

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Chief Justice John Roberts says the Supreme Court "doesn't have Obama judges, or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges." Win McNamee/AP hide caption

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Chief Justice Roberts Issues Rare Rebuke To Trump; Trump Fires Back

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Federal Judge Orders White House To Restore Press Credentials To CNN's Jim Acosta

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CNN attorney Ted Boutrous delivers remarks outside U.S. District Court following a hearing Wednesday on CNN's case against the White House for stripping a reporter of his press pass. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Judge Rules In Favor Of CNN, Temporarily Restores Correspondent's Credential

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Ted Olson, one of the lawyers representing CNN in a case against the Trump administration, helped NPR's Nina Totenberg when she was frozen out of the Justice Department in the early 1980s. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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CNN's Jim Acosta walks into federal court in Washington on Wednesday to attend a hearing on a legal challenge against the Trump administration. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

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Decision Delayed To Friday In CNN Suit Over White House Revoking Acosta's Press Pass

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Matthew Whitaker is pictured at an event in Washington in August. President Trump this month appointed Whitaker as acting attorney general. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Maryland Says Matthew Whitaker Appointment As Acting Attorney General Is Unlawful

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrives at a lecture on Sept. 26 at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. Ginsburg has been hospitalized after falling and fracturing several ribs. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Brett Kavanaugh, pictured after he was sworn in at the White House last month, formally took his seat as the 114th justice during the traditional investiture ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday morning. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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