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."

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.

A specially appointed federal panel of judges has dismissed all 83 ethics complaints brought against Justice Brett Kavanaugh regarding his conduct at his confirmation hearings.

The judges concluded that while the complaints "are serious," there is no existing authority that allows lower court judges to investigate or discipline Supreme Court justices.

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Updated at 5:24 p.m. ET

The double-jeopardy clause of the Constitution says a person can't be prosecuted twice for the same crime.

But, in fact, for 170 years, the Supreme Court has said that separate sovereigns — state and federal governments — can do just that, because each sovereign government has separate laws and interests.

Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET

At the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday, a majority of the justices seemed ready to make it more difficult for states to confiscate cars, houses and other property that is even tangentially used in the commission of a crime. It's a process legally known as civil asset forfeiture.

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Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

In a rare moment of direct criticism, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rebuked President Trump on Wednesday for the president's description of a federal judge who ruled against his asylum policy as "an Obama judge." Within hours, the president fired back on Twitter, launching an unusual conflict between the executive and judicial branches.

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Updated Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., delivered a decisive blow to President Trump Friday, ruling in favor of CNN and the news media.

Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, ordered the White House to restore correspondent Jim Acosta's press credentials, something the White House said later it would do.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., delayed his decision until Friday morning on CNN's lawsuit seeking immediate restoration of chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass.

A decision had been expected Thursday afternoon.

Earlier this week, CNN sued President Trump and other White House officials, contending that they acted unconstitutionally when they stripped Acosta of his press credentials, known as a "hard pass." The network is seeking a temporary restraining order while the case plays out.

Updated 4:27 p.m. ET

A battle between the White House and the press lands in federal court Thursday.

CNN filed a lawsuit against President Trump on Tuesday, asking that the White House be ordered to restore the press pass held by its lead reporter on the beat, Jim Acosta. The case will be heard Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who was appointed by Trump to the bench.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

Brett Kavanaugh formally took his seat as the 114th justice at the traditional investiture ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday morning. There was, however, a difference in the way the event was handled. The court said that because of security concerns, Kavanaugh would not walk down the court's long outside staircase with the chief justice.

Eighteen years ago, Lorrie Triplett's husband, Ensign Andrew Triplett, rode off on his bike to board the destroyer USS Cole, heading for the Persian Gulf. It was the last time she would see him. On Wednesday, she sat in the U.S. Supreme Court and "really wanted to scream."

Her husband was among 17 killed in 2000 when al-Qaida suicide bombers in a small boat attacked the Cole while it was refueling in a harbor in Yemen. Dozens more men and women were injured. They and the families of the dead sued the government of Sudan for allegedly providing material support for the attack.

Some personal secrets are so well-kept that even family and friends are oblivious. So it is with the story of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist's marriage proposal to a Stanford Law School classmate in the early 1950s.

President Trump and Senate Republicans are remaking the federal courts in their own image.

Prior to the Trump administration, there was plenty of tit for tat in the escalating partisan wars over judicial nominations. But these tactics were aimed at blocking nominees. Since Trump was sworn in, however, the GOP Senate leadership has moved aggressively to speed confirmation of new judges, casting aside long-existing practices and traditions that ensured some consensus in picking the judges who sit on the federal courts of appeal.

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Three years after his death, my father, virtuoso violinist Roman Totenberg, made headlines all over the world when his beloved Stradivarius violin, stolen 35 years earlier, was recovered by the FBI. The story struck the hearts of so many, I think, because in such turbulent times, it was rare good, even joyful, news. And the mystery of where it had been, was finally solved.

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As the fight over the Brett Kavanaugh nomination continues to reverberate throughout the country, the shorthanded Supreme Court began its new term Monday. Republicans had hoped to seat nominee Brett Kavanaugh in time for the start of the term, but that, of course, did not happen.

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The accusations against Brett Kavanaugh are mounting, with a third woman going public with a charge of sexual misconduct against the Supreme Court nominee. Today on Capitol Hill, the first of Kavanaugh's accusers is taking the stand.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

It is still unclear exactly how and under what conditions Christine Blasey Ford will testify Thursday on Capitol Hill. Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault when they were in high school.

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Professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward on Sunday for the first time telling her story alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually attacked her 35 years ago when the two were both in high school.

So how is this different from the sexual harassment allegations made against now Justice Clarence Thomas by law professor Anita Hill in 1991 at his confirmation hearing?

I know because I was there. I broke the story and then watched in amazement as events unfolded.

There are big differences and similarities in these two events.

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Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

The White House is accusing Senate Democrats of an unfounded "11th hour attempt to delay" a vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement Thursday afternoon disclosing that she had referred "a matter" involving Kavanaugh to "federal investigative authorities."

The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is often a major event that ripples through American law for decades. But Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, which opens Tuesday, is especially historic because, if confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to solidify a hard-right majority on the nation's highest court, a majority the likes of which has not been seen since the early 1930s, and which is likely to dominate for a generation or more.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shares one important view with President Trump: Both are deeply suspicious of any attempt to limit the president's power over executive branch officials.

That view could have important consequences for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election, which includes allegations of collusion and possible obstruction of justice.

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