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.

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3:40pm

Fri October 10, 2014
It's All Politics

Labor Secretary Eyed As White House Searches To Replace Attorney General

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 3:50 pm

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is a top candidate to be the next attorney general, according to sources familiar with the process.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

NPR has learned Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is a top candidate to be the next attorney general. Three sources familiar with the process say the issue is on the desk of President Obama, who has yet to decide among a relatively short list of options.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in an email Friday that "we have no personnel announcements at this time."

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7:44pm

Fri October 3, 2014
Politics

Understated Justice Department Lawyer Emerges As Key Player

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 10:31 pm

As acting associate attorney general, Stuart Delery oversees the largest litigating division in the Department of Justice.
Department of Justice

He's argued controversial cases involving same-sex marriage, the secrecy of the U.S. drone campaign, and the legality of the bulk-surveillance programs for American phone records. But he's still far from a household name. Now, though, with his recent promotion to serve as the third in command at the Justice Department, Stuart Delery is inching out of the shadows.

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10:16am

Sun September 28, 2014
U.S.

With The End In Sight, Holder Reflects On His Legacy

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 3:21 pm

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, shown speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus legislative conference on Friday, will be stepping down from his position as soon as a replacement is appointed.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

A day after Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation, he made a long-planned visit to Scranton, Penn.

That's where he won his first big trial as a young public corruption prosecutor nearly 40 years ago. And he says coming to this federal courthouse now, returning to the site of his earliest legal success, makes sense.

"This, for me, was ... almost like completing a circle," he says. "I came here as a young and inexperienced trial lawyer and I came back as the head of the agency that I had just joined back in 1978."

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8:27am

Fri September 26, 2014
Politics

Despite A Bumpy Tenure, Holder Had A Broad Impact

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Eric Holder's arrival in early February 2009 had all the hallmarks of a homecoming. Justice Department employees fatigued by scandals in President Bush's second term greeted Holder with sustained applause.

The Senate was receptive too, confirming him on a 75-21 vote and officially making him the first African-American attorney general in U.S. history.

But soon after he took the helm at Justice, Holder ran into headwinds — at times generated by his own words.

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10:40am

Thu September 25, 2014
The Two-Way

Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 8:29 am

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a Sept. 4 news conference at the Justice Department in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

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.

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7:40am

Sat September 13, 2014
Law

Domestic Violence Protections Still Resonate 20 Years After Crime Bill

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 12:47 pm

Vice President Joe Biden hugs Ruth Glenn, of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, at a commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Act. Glenn says that as a victim in 1992, there was no place to turn.
Susan Walsh AP

Twenty years ago today, former President Bill Clinton signed a massive crime-control bill that funded shelters for battered women and helped train police to investigate attacks. The anniversary of the law falls on a week when violence against women is front and center in the national conversation.

First, the Baltimore Ravens fired player Ray Rice after TMZ released a video where he knocked his then-fiancee unconscious. Then, a South African judge convicted sprinter Oscar Pistorius of negligently killing his girlfriend.

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3:32am

Fri September 12, 2014
Law

20 Years Later, Parts Of Major Crime Bill Viewed As Terrible Mistake

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 1:41 pm

Surrounded by lawmakers, President Bill Clinton hugs then-Sen. Joseph Biden after signing the $30 billion crime bill at the White House on Sept. 13, 1994.
Dennis Cook AP

Twenty years ago this week, in 1994, then-President Bill Clinton signed a crime bill. It was, in effect, a long-term experiment in various ways to fight crime.

The measure paid to put more cops on the beat, trained police and lawyers to investigate domestic violence, imposed tougher prison sentences and provided money for extra prisons.

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4:14pm

Thu September 4, 2014
Law

Holder Says Ferguson Probe Will Look For Source Of Police Mistrust

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 10:09 am

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that the Justice Department's civil rights division will launch a broad civil rights investigation in the Ferguson, Mo., police department.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

The Justice Department has launched a broad investigation into the actions of police in Ferguson, Mo. A white police officer there shot an unarmed 18-year-old black man last month, touching off protests and episodes of violence.

Attorney General Eric Holder says he's taking a closer look to get to the bottom of deep mistrust of local police.

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2:34pm

Wed September 3, 2014
The Two-Way

No. 3 Justice Department Official To Depart For The Private Sector

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 3:36 pm

Associate Attorney General Tony West, at podium, speaks at the Justice Department in Washington on Aug. 21. West is preparing to announce he is leaving government for a job in the private sector.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

Associate Attorney General Tony West, the third in command at the U.S. Justice Department, is preparing to announce he will leave government for a job in the private sector, two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR.

In a statement, the Justice Department confirmed West's planned departure.

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4:42pm

Fri August 29, 2014
Governing

Legal Questions Loom As Obama Weighs Military Action In Syria

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

President Obama says he agrees that Congress should have buy-in on military intervention against the Islamic State.
Evan Vucci AP

The White House is working behind the scenes to develop a strategy for fighting the Islamic State in Syria, a strategy that could include airstrikes and other military action there. But there are already lots of questions in political and national security circles about the legal authority the Obama administration might use to justify those actions.

In the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress authorized the White House to use military force — broad authority to strike against al-Qaida.

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