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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Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Montana Case About Tax Credits For Religious Schools

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Kendra Espinoza, the lead plaintiff in the case, has two daughters attending Stillwater Christian School in Kalispell, Mont. She is an office manager and staff accountant who works extra jobs to pay for her children's tuition. Christopher Duperron/Institute for Justice hide caption

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Christopher Duperron/Institute for Justice

Supreme Court Considers Religious Schools Case

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Brock Ervin holds a sign outside the Indiana House chamber before the 11 representatives of the Electoral College gathered on Dec. 19, 2016, in Indianapolis. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases challenging state attempts to penalize Electoral College delegates who fail to vote for the presidential candidate they were pledged to support. Darron Cummings/AP hide caption

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"OK, boomer" made its first appearance in the Supreme Court Wednesday, invoked by Chief Justice John Roberts, seen here in February 2019, in an age-discrimination case. Mark Humphrey/AP hide caption

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Mark Humphrey/AP

Chief Justice Roberts: Is 'OK, Boomer' Evidence Of Age Discrimination?

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether to throw out the convictions of Bridget Anne Kelly and William Baroni Jr., who were convicted in the "Bridgegate" scandal. Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

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Julio Cortez/AP

When Is Abuse Of Power A Crime? Supreme Court Answer May Come In 'Bridgegate' Scandal

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Supreme Court Hears Arguments On New Jersey 'Bridgegate' Case

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Traffic crosses the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J. The bridge made headlines in 2013 when two access lanes were shut down, creating gridlock — and a political scandal. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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At Supreme Court, Another Potential Loss For Prosecutors Fighting Public Corruption

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Chief Justice John Roberts (left) stands with his colleagues on the 2014 Supreme Court. Unlike during the Clinton impeachment trial, the membership and the direction of the court has changed in the past few years. Larry Downing/AP hide caption

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At Impeachment Trial, Chief Justice Roberts May Have More Prestige Than Power

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A Look At How The Supreme Court Chief Justice May Preside Over Senate Impeachment

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Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Minority Leader Tom Daschle, shown in this video image from February 1999, speak during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton on the Senate floor. AP hide caption

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President Trump speaks during a meeting at the White House Friday. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Trump Subpoena Cases

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Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Another Case Involving The Affordable Care Act

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