Jon S. Tigar

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Jon Tigar
Judge Jon S. Tigar.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Assumed office
January 18, 2013
Appointed byBarack Obama
Preceded bySaundra Brown Armstrong
Personal details
Born (1962-10-08) October 8, 1962 (age 58)
London, United Kingdom
EducationWilliams College (BA)
University of California, Berkeley (JD)

Jon Steven Tigar (born October 8, 1962) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Early life and education[edit]

Tigar was born in London, England in 1962.[1] Tigar earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Economics in 1984 from Williams College and a Juris Doctor degree in 1989 from UC Berkeley School of Law.[2] He graduated Order of the Coif,[1] was an Articles Editor of the California Law Review, and served as a Research Assistant to Professor Melvin Eisenberg. In 1989, Tigar served as a law clerk for United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Judge Robert Smith Vance.[2][3]

Professional career[edit]

From 1990 until 1992, Tigar served as a litigation associate for the law firm Morrison & Foerster. He then served as a public defender in San Francisco from 1993 until 1994[2] Tigar practiced complex commercial litigation at the law firm Keker & Van Nest from 1994 until 2002.[2] From 2002 to 2013, Tigar served as a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court.[2] Tigar is a member of the American Law Institute, for which he served as an Adviser to the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Loss and will serve in the same capacity on the forthcoming Restatement (Third) of Torts: Defamation and Privacy.[3][4] Tigar has taught Pretrial Litigation at UC Berkeley's School of Law. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Federal judicial service[edit]

On June 11, 2012, President Obama nominated Tigar to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, taking the seat vacated by Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, who took senior status on March 23, 2012.[2] The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on his nomination on July 11, 2012, and reported his nomination to the floor on August 2. The Senate confirmed his nomination by unanimous consent on December 21, 2012, and he received his commission on January 18, 2013.[3]

Notable decisions[edit]

On April 2, 2015, Tigar ordered the California Department of Corrections to provide gender reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate, finding that such surgery was the only adequate medical treatment for her gender dysphoria.[5]

On October 4, 2017, in the In re Wells Fargo & Company Shareholder Derivative Litigation, Tigar allowed a shareholder lawsuit to proceed against Wells Fargo's directors, finding that it was plausible that they had "consciously disregarded their fiduciary duties despite knowledge regarding [Wells Fargo's] widespread illegal account-creation activities."[6] Writing for the New York Times, financial writer Gretchen Morgenson called the ruling "unusual and welcome" and said it would "resonate among corporate directors."[7]

On November 19, 2018, Tigar issued a nationwide injunction barring the Trump administration from enforcing a rule that would deny asylum to anyone who entered the United States somewhere other than at a designated port of entry.[8] Complaining about the ruling, President Trump characterized Tigar as an "Obama judge," prompting Chief Justice John Roberts to defend judicial independence by stating, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for."[9] Tigar's injunction was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,[10][11] and the Supreme Court allowed the injunction to remain in place pending appeal.[12]

On July 24, 2019 Tigar issued a nationwide injunction that barred the Trump administration from denying asylum to persons who crossed through but did not apply for asylum in a third country.[13] In August, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found the administration's asylum policy "likely violated federal regulatory law" but narrowed Tigar's injunction to apply only within the Ninth Circuit.[14] On September 9, 2019, Tigar reinstated the nationwide scope of the injunction.[15] The Supreme Court stayed both orders on September 11, 2019 without addressing the legality of the administration's asylum policy.[16] On July 6, 2020, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the injunction blocking the third country asylum bar and upheld the nationwide scope of the injunction.

Community involvement[edit]

Tigar serves on the board of SF Camerawork, a San Francisco non-profit dedicated to the support of emerging photographers and new ideas in and approaches to photography.


  1. ^ a b "Senate Judiciary Committee Questionnaire" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b c d e f "President Obama Nominates Two to Serve on the US District Court". 11 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Tigar, Jon Steven – Federal Judicial Center".
  4. ^ "ALI, Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Defamation and Privacy: Participants".
  5. ^ "Ryan Parker, "Federal Judge Orders California Prison Inmate Be Granted Sexual Reassignment," L.A. Times (Apr. 2, 2015)".
  6. ^ Brad Karp. "Analysis of Wells Fargo Shareholder Litigation, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation".
  7. ^ "Gretchen Morgenson, "Bringing Accountability to the Wells Fargo Boardroom," NY Times (Nov. 3, 2017)".
  8. ^ "Miriam Jordan, "Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Proclamation Targeting Some Asylum Seekers," NY Times (Nov. 20, 2018)".
  9. ^ "Adam Liptak, "Chief Justice Defends Judicial Independence After Trump Attacks 'Obama Judge,'" NY Times (Nov. 21, 2018)".
  10. ^ "Debra Cassens Weiss, "9th Circuit: New Asylum Restrictions Likely Violate Federal Law; Bybee Wrote Opinion," ABA Journal (Dec. 10, 2018)".
  11. ^ ""Court Refuses to Allow Trump Asylum Ban for Immigrants Entering Illegally," The Guardian (Dec. 7, 2018)".
  12. ^ "Robert Barnes, "Supreme Court Denies Trump Administration Request to Immediately Enforce New Asylum Rules," Washington Post (Dec. 21, 2018)".
  13. ^ "Miriam Jordan and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, "Trump's Latest Attempt to Bar Asylum Seekers Is Blocked After a Day of Dueling Rulings," NY Times (July 24, 2019)".
  14. ^ "Ted Hesson, "Trump Scores Partial Win On Asylum Ban As Court Narrows Injunction," Politico (Aug. 16, 2019)".
  15. ^ "Sarah Mervosh, "Judge Reinstates Nationwide Injunction on Trump Asylum Rule," NY Times (Sep. 9, 2019)".
  16. ^ "Adam Liptak, "Supreme Court Says Trump Can Bar Asylum Seekers While Legal Fight Continues," NY Times (Sep. 11, 2019)".

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Saundra Brown Armstrong
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California