Carrie Johnson, NPR

Carrie Johnson is a Justice Correspondent for the Washington Desk.

She covers a wide variety of stories about justice issues, law enforcement and legal affairs for NPR's flagship programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as the Newscasts and NPR.org.

While in this role, Johnson has chronicled major challenges to the landmark voting rights law, a botched law enforcement operation targeting gun traffickers along the Southwest border, and the Obama administration's deadly drone program for suspected terrorists overseas.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2010, Johnson worked at the Washington Post for 10 years, where she closely observed the FBI, the Justice Department and criminal trials of the former leaders of Enron, HealthSouth and Tyco. Earlier in her career, she wrote about courts for the weekly publication Legal Times.

Outside of her role at NPR, Johnson regularly moderates or appears on legal panels for the American Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and others. She's talked about her work on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, and other outlets.

Her work has been honored with awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has been a finalist for the Loeb award for financial journalism and for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for team coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Benedictine University in Illinois.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump announced his selections today for three key posts: Michael Flynn for national security adviser, Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA director. Trump's selections signal that he is prioritizing loyalty as he chooses nominees for top posts — turning to people who were early and outspoken supporters of his campaign. Sessions is a former U.S. attorney and current senator with lengthy experience with the Justice...

Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States, the capstone of a tumultuous and divisive campaign that won over white voters with the promise to "Make America Great Again." Trump crossed the 270 electoral vote threshold at 2:31 a.m. ET with a victory in Wisconsin, according to Associated Press projections. The rise of Trump, a candidate with no prior experience in the military or elected office, confounded nearly everyone in politics. Improbably, the real estate scion...

U.S. Justice Department officials plan to phase out their use of private prisons to house federal inmates, reasoning that the contract facilities offer few benefits for public safety or taxpayers. In making the decision, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates cited new findings by the Justice Department's inspector general, who concluded earlier this month that a pool of 14 privately contracted prisons reported more incidents of inmate contraband, higher rates of assaults and more uses of force...

John Hinckley Jr., 35-years after he tried to kill a president, has won his freedom. A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has granted a request for Hinckley to leave the mental hospital where he's resided for decades, to go live full-time with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, Va. The release could happen as early as next week, the judge ruled. Under the terms of the order, Hinckley is not allowed to contact his victims, their relatives or actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed....

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she "fully expects" to endorse the recommendations of career prosecutors and FBI agents investigating the security of Hillary Clinton's email server, but stopped short of recusing herself from the politically charged case. In an interview in Aspen, Colo., Lynch said she regrets that her unscheduled meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac this week has "cast a shadow" over the investigation into his wife's email practices at...

A bipartisan group of senators has unveiled a new compromise plan to overhaul the way drug criminals are punished, making one last push for legislative reform before the presidential election all but forecloses action on Capitol Hill. At a news conference Thursday, one of the plan's biggest supporters, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., proclaimed, "This is the best chance in a generation to reform our federal drug sentencing law." Lawmakers have spent three years hashing out proposals to devote...

The Senate voted Thursday, 56-43, to approve the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as U.S. attorney general, ending a more than five month-long political impasse that had stalled her bid to become the first black woman to lead the Justice Department. Lynch, 55, grew up in the shadow of the civil rights movement in North Carolina, where her family had preached for generations. Most recently, she prosecuted terrorists, mobsters and white collar criminals as the top federal prosecutor in...

A federal civil rights investigation of the Ferguson, Mo., police force has concluded that the department violated the Constitution with discriminatory policing practices against African Americans, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the report. The investigation, the source says, concluded that blacks were disproportionately targeted by the police and the justice system, which has led to a lack of trust in police and courts and to few partnerships for public safety. The...

This post was last updated at 4:44 p.m. ET. Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, will resign his post after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress. President Obama said on Thursday that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next...

The leader of an influential Justice Department office that offers legal advice on surveillance, drones and other issues at the center of security and executive power quietly left government before Christmas.

Virginia Seitz, who won Senate confirmation after an earlier candidate under president Obama foundered , resigned from federal service after 2 1/2 years on the job. The timing is unusual because her unit plays a critical role in drawing the legal boundaries of executive...

Attorney General Eric Holder has for the first time directed Justice Department employees to give same-sex married couples "full and equal recognition, to the greatest extent under the law," a move with far-ranging consequences for how such couples are treated in federal courtrooms and proceedings. The directive specifies that such couples can decline to give testimony in U.S. cases that might incriminate a spouse, known in the law as marital privilege. The guidance says the Justice...

A federal judge in Washington says the National Security Agency's program for bulk phone record collection violates Americans' reasonable expectation of privacy. The ruling (pdf), however, has been stayed pending a likely appeal. Judge Richard Leon says the sweeping NSA collection of U.S. phone metadata constitutes an unreasonable search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment. The judge says the Smith v. Maryland Supreme Court ruling the Obama administration has used to underpin that program...

Attorney General Eric Holder has been a lightning rod for the president's fiercest critics during his four years in office. Lately, he's been back on the hot seat with a crisis of his own making: the Justice Department's aggressive stance toward reporters in national security leak cases. Holder heads to the Senate on Thursday, where lawmakers are sure to demand an explanation. Being in the center of the storm is nothing new for Holder. Even before he was confirmed by the Senate in 2009,...

In the three years since his arrest, Bradley Manning, the slight Army private first class with close-cropped blond hair and thick military glasses, has become less of a character than a cause. "Bradley Manning is a very polarizing figure. People either think that he is a hero or they think he's a traitor," says Elizabeth Goitein, who co-directs the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "I actually think that he's somewhere in between." Manning is accused of...

For the first time, the U.S. government has acknowledged killing four American citizens in lethal drone strikes far outside traditional battlefields, confirming information that had been widely known but has only recently been unclassified under orders of the president. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday explaining that only one of the four dead U.S. citizens was explicitly targeted. Anwar al-Awlaki , a radical cleric born in New Mexico, died in Yemen in...

The Justice Department has joined a civil lawsuit against cyclist Lance Armstrong , his Tailwind Sports team and its longtime manager, alleging their pervasive doping campaign defrauded the U.S. Postal Service out of more than $31 million in sponsorship fees. The decision ratchets up the legal pressure on Armstrong, who's lost his seven Tour de France titles, enormous advertising and sponsorship deals, and a large part of his reputation. Lawyers for the cyclist had been negotiating with...

Congressional Democrats appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to push for a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The bill's author, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, started her remarks with a roster of tragedy: "Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Tucson. Oak Creek. The common thread in these shootings is each gunman used a semiautomatic assault weapon or large-capacity ammunition magazine." Her new proposal tries to do something about both. First, the bill would ban the sale...

Vice President Joe Biden is getting ready to make recommendations on how to reduce gun violence in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. But he says his task force is facing an unexpected obstacle: slim or outdated research on weapons. Public health research dried up more than a decade ago after Congress restricted the use of some federal money to pay for those studies. A Researcher Under Fire Art Kellermann was raised in eastern Tennessee, where his father taught him how to shoot...

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. A Transocean subsidiary also agreed to plead guilty to a single criminal misdemeanor charge for violating the Clean Water Act. Federal authorities blamed the company for acting negligently when the rig's crew proceeded with maneuvers to the deep-sea well in the...

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