Nina Totenberg

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." She is also a regular panelist on Inside Washington, a weekly syndicated public affairs television program produced in the nation's capital.

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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2:34pm

Wed August 17, 2011
Law

In Top Court, Anticipated Health Law Review Raises Ethics Questions

In the coming term — the Supreme Court is expected to review President Obama's health care law. With that in mind, some interest groups are raising questions about the Court's ethics rules that govern when a justice should be disqualified from a case. Should Justice Clarence Thomas have to recuse himself because his wife has actively and publicly opposed the health care law? Or, should Justice Elena Kagan disqualify herself because she was a top legal official in the Obama administration when the law was enacted?

1:44pm

Mon August 15, 2011
Law

Bill Puts Ethics Spotlight On Supreme Court Justices

At times of partisan stress in American Politics, the Supreme Court often becomes part of the game, and the ethics of individual justices become a focus of criticism.

Liberal groups are leading the charge now.

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4:00am

Fri July 15, 2011
Law

Prosecutors Strike Out, Clemens Walks For Now

Judge Reggie Walton has declared a mistrial in the Roger Clemens case. Walton ruled that prosecutors had indelibly tainted Clemens' ability to get a fair trial by exposing the jury to inadmissible evidence. Clemens was on trial on charges of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs.

7:40pm

Thu July 14, 2011
Law

Judge Declares Mistrial In Roger Clemens Case

The perjury trial of onetime pitching ace Roger Clemens has blown up into a mistrial. On just the second day of testimony, federal Judge Reggie Walton ruled that prosecutors had indelibly tainted Clemens' ability to get a fair trial by exposing the jury to inadmissible evidence.

Still unresolved is whether prosecutors will get a second chance at making their case in front of another jury.

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6:42am

Thu July 14, 2011
Law

Prosecution: Roger Clemens Lied About Steroid Use

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner faces charges of perjury and obstruction of Congress — which carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. The prosecution says it has physical evidence against the baseball pitching star, but Clemens' attorney contends the evidence is fake.

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