Carrie Johnson

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.

Lawyers for a 17-year-old transgender student and the Gloucester, Va., school board that wants to limit which bathroom he can use don't agree on much.

But both sides have concluded the Trump administration's decision this week to revoke guidance that protects transgender students' ability to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity only heightens the need for a hearing before the nation's highest court.

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Let's dig deeper now into the judicial showdown over the Trump administration's immigration executive order. NPR's justice correspondent Carrie Johnson joins us now to talk about that.

Good morning.

President Trump has selected federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill a Supreme Court seat that has sat vacant for nearly a year, setting up a blockbuster confirmation hearing that could put the new White House's domestic political agenda on trial in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate Judiciary Committee once again debated the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Democrats on the Republican-controlled committee raised objections to his nomination. The committee met a day after President Trump fired the acting attorney general over her refusal to defend the immigration order banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries.

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Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, concluding she has "betrayed the Department of Justice" by refusing to defend his executive order that imposes a temporary ban on refugees and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries.

In a statement, the White House called Yates, an Obama administration holdover with 27 years of experience prosecuting corrupt public officials and the man who bombed the Atlanta Olympic park, "weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration."

President Trump's executive order on immigration late Friday ignited nationwide protests — and a slew of legal challenges.

At least four federal judges across the country have blocked part of the order and temporarily ensured refugees and travelers who reached U.S. soil would not be deported.

Here's an explanation of what happened so far and what could come next.

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The U.S. Justice Department said it has "no comment" on whether its Office of Legal Counsel has reviewed any of President Trump's executive orders, which have met with criticism this week because of vague language and possible conflicts with legal precedents.

The department's own website says:

"All executive orders and proclamations proposed to be issued by the President are reviewed by the Office of Legal Counsel for form and legality, as are various other matters that require the President's formal approval."

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A newly inaugurated Donald J. Trump delivered a fiercely populist and often dark address, promising to transfer power in Washington from political elites to the people and vowing to put "America first."

Surrounded by members of Congress and the Supreme Court, the nation's 45th president repeated themes from his historic and divisive campaign message, describing children in poverty, schools in crisis and streets pocked with crime and "carnage."

Jeff Sessions donned a "Make America Great Again" cap and joined the campaign trail as one of Donald Trump's earliest supporters on Capitol Hill. But the proximity of the Alabama Republican to the president-elect has got some Democrats worried about how he'd preside at the Justice Department.

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The Justice Department's watchdog has launched a sweeping review of conduct by the FBI director and other department officials before the presidential election, following calls from Congress and members of the public.

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Senators put questions to President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Justice Department today. They weren't the only ones who made themselves heard on Capitol Hill.

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Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is the first of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees to get a hearing on Capitol Hill.

The Justice Department is issuing new guidance to federal agents on how to secure eyewitness identifications, an initiative designed to reflect decades of scientific research and bolster public confidence in the criminal justice system, NPR has learned.

Dealing with a flood of last-minute pardon requests amounted to one of the biggest surprises of his presidency, George W. Bush once wrote. Bush declared himself "disgusted" by how many people exploited their connections to make personal appeals.

Now, President Obama faces the same set of difficult decisions on the way out the door, with many high-profile applicants requesting clemency in the president's final weeks in office.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest recently warned applicants not to get their hopes up.

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Two intelligence sources say the FBI agrees with the CIA assessment that Russia interfered in the U.S. election, in part to help Donald Trump, clearing up any confusion and other reporting that the agencies weren't in sync.

The entire intelligence community, in fact, is now in alignment that the hacks were partly motivated to try and install Trump as president. The FBI and others continue to say that Russia didn't actually think that was going to happen.

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His Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill are hoping to advance Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions' nomination to serve as U.S. attorney general at warp speed. Leaders at the Senate Judiciary Committee have already announced that confirmation hearings for the nation's next top law enforcement officer will begin Jan. 10, well before Donald Trump's inauguration.

But Democrats and civil rights advocates are signaling that the path for Sessions may not be as rapid, or as smooth, as Republicans would like.

At the CIA and the FBI, conversations about Russian hacks before the U.S. presidential election are moving into quiet spaces or stopping altogether, three sources told NPR.

The agencies are steeling themselves for a congressional investigation that could become one of the most sensitive and politicized in years.

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The advice President Obama has offered his successor is mostly under wraps. But the outgoing commander-in-chief made a point of going on the record with this wisdom for President-elect Donald Trump: hire a good lawyer and listen to him.

Trump has selected elections expert Don McGahn as his new White House counsel. McGahn will have a lot of work to do, mostly behind the scenes. Veterans of the office said if the White House counsel is doing their job the right way, hardly anyone knows their name.

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