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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Biden Made His First Judicial Picks This Week, Including A Supreme Court Contender

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The arguments before the Supreme Court Wednesday came amid March Madness — and could erode the difference between elite college athletes and professional sports stars. Paul Sancya/AP hide caption

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Paul Sancya/AP

Supreme Court Weighs Whether NCAA Is Illegally 'Fixing' Athlete Compensation

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Wearing a shirt that says, "#NotNCAAProperty," injured University of Michigan basketball player Isaiah Livers looks on prior to his team's NCAA tournament game against Texas Southern on March 20. On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case testing the NCAA's limits on compensation for student athletes. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images hide caption

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Take To The Court: Justices Will Hear Case On Student Athlete Compensation

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President Biden has dozens of vacancies to fill on the courts. There are 84 district court vacancies, with 62 of the seats now empty, plus 22 more judges having announced that they will leave their posts or take "senior status" within weeks or months. In addition, there are 12 appeals court vacancies to fill. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Biden Makes 1st Judicial Nominations, Including A Supreme Court Contender

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case testing whether police may enter a person's home and seize guns without a warrant in order to safeguard the homeowner from potential harm. Patrick Semansky/AP hide caption

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Supreme Court Mulls Whether Police Can Enter Home Without Warrant To Save A Life

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SCOTUS Heard Arguments On Whether Police Can Seize Guns Without A Warrant

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SCOTUS Heard Arguments In Clash Between Large Agriculture Growers And Their Workers

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