Judge Jon S. Tigar, Northern California U.S. District Court

Judge Jon S. Tigar

Northern California U.S. District Court

Jon Steven Tigar was born in October 1962 in London, England. He earned an undergraduate degree from Williams College and a Juris Doctor from the University of California Berkeley School of Law. He clerked at the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, before entering into the private practice of law.

He served for a time as a public defender in San Francisco and was a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court.

Tigar was nominated by President Barack Obama to be a judge on the United States District Court for Northern California. His confirmation was by the unanimous consent of the Senate and he received his commission in January 2013.

In the News…

Federal judge Jon S. Tigar ruled that censorship of personalized license plates is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment.

California law allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to reject any vanity plate that uses “any combination of letters or numbers, or both, that may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.” Five California residents who were denied their requested personalized license plates sued the DMV alleging that plate messages were misunderstood or that state laws restricting license plate personalization “imposed content-based and viewpoint-based restrictions on speech” and, therefore, were unconstitutional.

Judge Tigar found that the DMV’s enforcement of the law is an unreasonable restriction on free speech because the provisions do not provide any “reasoned application” and that there is no set criteria to determine what counts as “offensive.”

“Because there is no objective, workable standard of what is ‘offensive to good taste and decency,’ different reviewers can reach opposing conclusions on whether a certain configuration should be rejected based on their judgment of what might be ‘offensive’ or not in ‘good taste,’” Tigar wrote.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Tigar today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Jon S. Tigar
U.S. District Court for Northern California District
Phillip Burton Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102


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