Founded in 1998, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) is a pro-business legal advocacy group that is related to, but distinct from, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ILR has been described as a “project set up by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to defend business interests in court.” Not surprisingly, the group describes itself differently, claiming that it counters the inefficiency of America’s legal system—“the world’s costliest”—by helping to create “a fair legal system that promotes economic growth and opportunity.”
ILR maintains strong ties with American companies that misbehave abroad, including taking action that runs afoul of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). According to an investigation by the offices of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in 2012, eight of 55 ILR board members were affiliated with companies that had settled FCPA lawsuits with the government and another six faced investigations.
January 6, 2021
- ILR is a major donor to the Republican Attorney Generals Association (RAGA), a nonprofit that conducted robocalls urging Trump supporters to protest congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College win by gathering in Washington. In 2019 and 2020, ILR contributed over $1.25 million to RAGA.
The Big Lie
- ILR has strong ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a prominent proponent of unfounded allegations of election fraud and voter suppression efforts. ILR has participated in numerous ALEC task forces and ALEC has cited the legal organization’s research on its website.
- Laura J. Schumacher, a former ILR board member, is now on the board of General Dynamics, a company that has donated at least $173,500 to Republican members of Congress in the “Sedition Caucus” who have tried to undermine the legitimacy of Biden’s win of the 2020 presidential election.