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

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.

The White House says it is confident President Obama has followed the law when it comes to U.S. involvement in Libya. But members of Congress and legal scholars aren't so sure. They're debating whether the president exceeded his authority by not getting approval from Congress.

Nearly 38 years ago, lawmakers passed the War Powers Resolution. Congress directed the White House to get permission within two months of starting hostilities.

But when it came to moving against Libya in April, Obama took an unusual approach. Like a lot of clever lawyers, he found an artful dodge.

Federal sources say ballistics evidence ties a man arrested at Arlington National Cemetery last week to a series of mysterious shootings in the Washington, D.C., area.

Yonathan Melaku, 22, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, has been in custody since police found him wandering last week after the cemetery had closed. He was carrying a backpack he said was full of explosives. The FBI later determined the material in the backpack was inert.

Jim Risen, a reporter for The New York Times, will ask a court Tuesday to throw out a Justice Department subpoena. Risen says he doesn't want to testify against a CIA agent accused of leaking classified information.

Risen has a history of digging for government secrets and finding pay dirt. He helped expose the government's warrantless wiretapping program. And he ventured into the shadows again to write a history of the CIA during President George W. Bush's years.

The case of two Iraqi refugees captured in Kentucky after an FBI sting operation is reigniting the political debate over where to bring terrorists to justice.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says the men pose a danger to the people in his state and he wants them sent to Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. detention facility in Cuba. But, Justice Department leaders say the real danger is fear-mongering by politicians.

Three agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms marched to Congress on Wednesday to blow the whistle on a risky operation targeting gun traffickers.

They told the House Government Reform Committee that more than 1,000 guns tied to the ATF's investigation of drug cartels are still missing somewhere in the U.S. and Mexico. Lawmakers want to know who approved the operation in the first place.

The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday that looks at terrorist recruitment inside the walls of American jails and prisons. The last time New York Congressman Peter King (R) examined radicalization among Muslims, he generated a huge backlash from religious and civil rights groups.

But people who study prisons said the number of criminals who turn to extremism behind bars is small but worrisome. And they all point to the same case to open the conversation.

The U.S. Justice Department is stepping up its scrutiny of troubled police departments. Federal civil rights lawyers are investigating 15 departments from Arizona to New Jersey, asking whether officers are discriminating against minorities or using too much force.

When it comes to federal oversight of local police, there's only one place to start: the brutal attack on Rodney King. A Los Angeles police chief admitted King had been hit with batons more than 50 times, kicked at least seven times and shocked with a stun gun.

As legal experts debate the strength of the campaign finance case against former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, details are emerging of how the indictment came about.

Lawyers for Edwards had pressed Justice Department officials for weeks to end the two-year investigation of the once-prominent Democrat with no criminal charges, a decision that would have carried profound political fallout. It would have been a hard sell even in an ordinary prosecution, let alone one completely interwined with politics.

Two Iraqi men are due in court in Kentucky on Wednesday to face charges that they tried to send missiles to al-Qaida. The men moved to the U.S. as part of a program to resettle thousands of refugees from Iraq. But national security experts say their presence here has exposed an alarming gap in the screening process.

Waad Alwan arrived in Bowling Green, Ky., two years ago to build a new life. But when he applied to a refugee program for Iraqis, Homeland Security officials didn't know the military had lifted his fingerprints from a bomb designed to hurt U.S. troops in Iraq.

President Obama's top lawyer, Bob Bauer, is leaving the White House to return to his law firm, Perkins and Coie.

Bauer isn't leaving Obama's orbit completely, however. He will advise Mr. Obama's reelection campaign and serve as the president's personal lawyer.

He'll be replaced by a veteran prosecutor, Kathleen Ruemmler. She has spent most of her career at the Justice Department.

She started out handling drug and crime cases in Washington D.C. then then took on a leading role in the prosecution of former Enron executives.