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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National Security
11:00 am
Thu July 21, 2011

ATF Whistleblower Case Triggers Retaliation Inquiry

The Justice Department's Inspector General has opened an investigation into possible retaliation against a whistle-blowing agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, according to two people briefed on the inquiry.

Watchdogs are examining whether anyone at the Justice Department improperly released internal correspondence to try to smear ATF agent John Dodson, who told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month that he repeatedly warned supervisors about what he called a reckless law enforcement operation known as "Fast and Furious."

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Law
12:01 am
Wed July 20, 2011

Senate Panel To Consider End Of Gay Marriage Ban

There has been a lot for supporters of gay marriage to celebrate this year, including a new law that permits same-sex nuptials in New York.

Back in February, the Justice Department said it would no longer defend the federal law that restricts marriage to heterosexual couples, citing doubts about its constitutionality. This week, the White House said President Obama wants to overturn the law. On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill that would do that and — for the first time — give federal benefits to same-sex couples who marry.

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News
11:54 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Obama Cracks Down On Medical Marijuana

Ryan Cook reaches for a jar of medical marijuana at one of his clinics in Denver, Colo. on June 24.
Ed Andrieski AP

In many ways, things have been looking up for supporters of medical marijuana. Opinion polls now suggest that the American public is swinging behind the idea — and it's already legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia. But the Obama administration has been taking a very different view lately.

Marijuana has been cropping up all over the country, becoming legal for medical use in places like Montana and Colorado, where the drug's so available that it became a target on Saturday Night Live this year.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

Federal Authorities To Collect More Data On Gun Buyers Along Border

The Obama White House has cleared the way for federal authorities to get more information on gun purchases along the southwest border.

Dealers who sell multiple semi-automatic weapons to the same person in a short period of time must report the sales to federal authorities.

The new rule will apply in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas — states where illegal gun running from the U.S. to Mexico is rampant — and comes as gun trafficking along the border gets scrutiny from Congress.

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National Security
2:01 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

Terrorism Case Re-Ignites National Security Debate

Photo reviewed by US military officials shows Camp VI entrance in Guantanamo where 70 prisoners were detained on Guantanamo October 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Somali man Ahmed Warsame was picked up in the Gulf and interrogated by intelligence officials on a U.S. Navy vessel for two months before law enforcement agents came in to question him.

The FBI flew him to New York Monday, where he'll face a civilian trial on conspiracy and weapons charges that could send him to prison for life.

But the allegations against Warsame are nowhere near as important as what his case says about the Obama administration and the politics of national security.

First, the politics.

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