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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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.

6:53pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Law

Roger Clemens Lied About Steroid Use, Jury Told

Baseball pitching star Roger Clemens (right) walks with his attorney, Rusty Hardin, as he arrives at the U.S. District Court for the start of his perjury trial on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Baseball pitching star Roger Clemens, winner of a record seven Cy Young awards, sat silently in federal court on Wednesday, as his trial opened on charges of perjury and obstruction of Congress — charges that carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Clemens remained expressionless as the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham, told the jury that the government had physical proof that the 48-year-old one-time pitching ace had been repeatedly injected with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

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12:01am

Fri July 1, 2011
Law

Business, Free Speech Winners In High Court Term

The U.S. Supreme Court term that ended Monday significantly altered the nation's legal topography, making it much more difficult for people to sue big business. At the same time, the court continued its First Amendment march, making clear that at least five justices, and often more, prize the First Amendment guarantee of free speech over other constitutional values.

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