Nina Totenberg

NPR legal correspondent

Nina Totenberg appears in the following:

Supreme Court Rules DNA Can Be Taken After Arrest

Monday, June 03, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can routinely take DNA samples from people who are arrested but not yet convicted of a crime, and see if the DNA matches any samples from unsolved crimes in a national database.

The 5-to-4 decision split the court's conservative and liberal blocs, ...


Supreme Court Declines Review Of Planned Parenthood Case

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In the first Planned Parenthood defunding case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices have refused to disturb a lower court decision that barred Indiana from stripping Medicaid payments to the organization.

More than a dozen states have enacted or considered laws that bar Planned Parenthood from ...


Justice Sotomayor Takes Swing At Famed Baseball Case

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's wicked, waggish sense of humor — and knowledge of baseball — were on full display Wednesday, when she presided over a re-enactment of Flood v. Kuhn, the 1972 case that unsuccessfully challenged baseball's antitrust exemption.

The event, put on by the Supreme Court Historical Society, ...


For Supreme Court, Monsanto's Win Was More About Patents Than Seeds

Monday, May 13, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that when farmers use patented seed for more than one planting in violation of their licensing agreements, they are liable for damages.

Billed as David vs. Goliath, the case pitted an Indiana farmer against the agribusiness behemoth Monsanto.

Almost all the soybean farmers ...


'Show Boat' Steams On, Eternally American

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

It's been more than eight decades since Show Boat -- the seminal masterpiece of the American musical theater — premiered on a stage in Washington, D.C. Now the sprawling classic is back, in a lush production put on by the Washington National Opera.

Based on Edna Ferber's epic best-selling novel, ...


Justices Say U.S. Improperly Deported Man Over Marijuana

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a longtime legal resident of the United States was improperly deported for possession of a small amount of marijuana. By a 7-2 vote, the justices said that it defies common sense to treat an offense like this as an "aggravated felony" ...


Justices Weigh Speech Rights For Groups Getting U.S. Funds

Monday, April 22, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court grappled with a tough First Amendment issue on Monday that pits congressional priorities against free speech rights. At issue: what speech limitations may be placed on private groups that receive federal grant money to fight HIV/AIDS abroad.

The justices' questions revealed a court closely divided, and ...


Supreme Court Backs Warrants For Blood Tests In DUI Cases

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police must generally obtain a warrant before subjecting a drunken-driving suspect to a blood test. The vote was 8-to-1, with Justice Clarence Thomas the lone dissenter.

Tyler McNeely was pulled over late at night after a state trooper observed him driving ...


Supreme Court Curbs Lawsuits Over Foreign Abuses

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to human-rights advocates Wednesday, in a case that was closely watched globally by human-rights groups and foreign governments.

The court limited the reach of a 224-year-old federal law that in recent decades has been used to hold foreign corporations and individuals accountable in ...


Emotions Run High As Supreme Court Hears Adoption Case

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Emotions boiled over at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as the justices heard arguments in a case testing the meaning and reach of the Indian Child Welfare Act, known as ICWA.

The 1978 law was enacted after Congress found that more than a third of all Native American children ...

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Adoption Case Brings Rare Family Law Dispute To High Court

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Take the usual agony of an adoption dispute. Add in the disgraceful U.S. history of ripping Indian children from their Native American families. Mix in a dose of initial fatherly abandonment. And there you have it — a poisonous and painful legal cocktail that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court ...


Justices Appear Skeptical Of Patenting Human Genes

Monday, April 15, 2013

In a case considered pivotal to the future of science and medicine, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed skeptical Monday about a claim that human genes can be patented.

Contending that genes can be patented are the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, which see patents as the keys to ...


Supreme Court Asks: Can Human Genes Be Patented?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Same-sex marriage got huge headlines at the Supreme Court last month, but in the world of science and medicine, the case being argued on Monday is far more important. The lawsuit deals with a truly 21st century issue — whether human genes may be patented.

Myriad Genetics, a Utah biotechnology ...


Supreme Court Notes: Bugs, Pumps And Stolen Credit Card Numbers

Thursday, March 28, 2013

NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg sends us some odds and ends from a very momentous week in the Supreme Court.

Hear all that sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and nose blowing during this week's same-sex oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court?

That was Justice Antonin Scalia, apparently sick as ...


5 Justices Express Doubt About Defense Of Marriage Act

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Justices Cast Doubt On Federal Defense Of Marriage Act

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In the wake of the Supreme Court arguments Wednesday on the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex marriage supporters have reason to be optimistic. Known as DOMA, the law bars federal benefits for legally married same-sex couples, even though those same benefits are automatically given to heterosexual married couples.

The second ...


DOMA Challenge Tests Federal Definition Of Marriage

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

After weeks and months of public debate and speculation about the legal fate of same-sex marriage, the second round of arguments takes place at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

After hearing a challenge on Tuesday to California's ban on same-sex marriage, the justices move Wednesday to ...


At Arguments, Supreme Court Takes Halting Steps Into Gay Marriage Issue

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

At the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, the moment had finally arrived. After four years of litigation in the lower courts, the Supreme Court was hearing a challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage. But minutes into oral arguments, it became clear that the justices may not give either side ...