U.S. Chamber Litigation Center

The U.S. Chamber Litigation Center fights for business at every level of the U.S. judicial system, on virtually every issue affecting business.

Founded in 1977, the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center is a separately incorporated affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The Litigation Center fights for business at every level of the U.S. judicial system, on virtually every issue affecting business, including class actions and arbitration, labor and employment, energy and environment, securities and corporate governance, financial regulation, free speech, preemption, government contracts, and criminal law.

We represent the Chamber in lawsuits to challenge unlawful federal, state, and local regulatory actions.  We intervene to defend the government in cases brought by activists to challenge pro-business or deregulatory actions.  We file amicus curiae briefs representing the broad views of the business community in important litigation throughout the country, including in the Supreme Court of the United States.  We help advocates prepare for oral arguments in cases that present important business issues.  We work with the media to help the public understand key decisions and legal principles.

The Litigation Center is staffed by a team of experienced in-house litigators—five previously clerked for Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, and five have significant government experience at the White House and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.  All have significant private sector litigation experience. It retains the nation’s top lawyers, including former U.S. Solicitors General and other executive branch officers, veterans of the Supreme Court bar, and former state court judges and officials, to serve as outside counsel.

Recent Activity

Litigation UpdateJun 26, 2019 - 12:00pm

Supreme Court significantly limits but declines to eliminate judicial deference to agency interpretation of its own regulations

Auer deference used to be a heavy thumb on the scale in favor of the government in litigation against a business over what an agency’s own regulation means.  If the decision in Kisor is followed in the lower courts, then this should mean less leeway in the courts for government regulators vis-à-vis business.  Although the Court did not go so far as we asked, the Kisor decision is an improvement in the law on deference.

Litigation UpdateJun 24, 2019 - 9:45am

Supreme Court rejects narrow interpretation of FOIA exemption that protects confidential business information

The Supreme Court in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media held that the Freedom of Information Act’s (FOIA) exemption for “confidential” business information provided to the government is not limited to information that would cause competitive harm if disclosed.  This decision upends several decades of unfavorable D.C. Circuit precedent that made it more difficult for companies to prevent the disclosure of business information submitted to the government.  The Chamber urged the Court to take this case at the cert. stage and filed a brief at the merits stage supporting this result.

Litigation UpdateJun 21, 2019 - 1:00pm

Supreme Court rejects North Carolina’s attempt to tax an out-of-state trust based solely on a beneficiary’s residency

The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in North Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kaestner Family Trust, holding that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits a state from taxing an out-of-state trust’s income simply because a beneficiary of the trust lives within the state.  The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief at the merits stage supporting this result.

Litigation UpdateJun 20, 2019 - 9:30pm

Supreme Court avoids resolving question about a district court’s power to determine the legality of an agency regulation subject to judicial review in a court of appeals under the Hobbs Act

In this case, PDR Network v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to answer the question whether “the Hobbs Act required the District Court in this case to accept the FCC’s legal interpretation of the TCPA.”  The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief at the merits stage in support of neither party, encouraging the Court to protect reliance interests by holding that the Hobbs Act generally prohibits collateral challenges to agency rules, while also recognizing private defendants’ due process rights in district court proceedings to contest the applicability of agency regulations enforced against them. The Court sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit to determine whether the FCC’s order was truly the type of binding order addressed by the Hobbs Act and, if so, whether defendants may have another avenue for challenging its validity.  

Litigation UpdateJun 17, 2019 - 3:00pm

Supreme Court agrees with U.S. Chamber that operating a public forum for speech does not make a private company a state actor, even where those operations are licensed or heavily regulated by the state

In Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, the Supreme Court issued a decision holding that a private company does not qualify as a state actor subject to the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause simply because it is otherwise heavily regulated or it operates a public forum for speech. 

Litigation UpdateJun 17, 2019 - 11:15am

Supreme Court holds that the federal Atomic Energy Act does not preempt Virginia’s ban on uranium mining

The Atomic Energy Act (AEA) gives the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission exclusive regulatory authority to ensure the safety of uranium processing but leaves the regulation of uranium mining up to the States.

Litigation UpdateJun 10, 2019 - 5:30pm

Supreme Court unanimously agrees with U.S. Chamber that state wage-and-hour laws don’t apply to drilling rigs on the outer continental shelf

In Parker Drilling Management Services, Inc. v. Newton, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Ninth Circuit’s determination that California’s wage-and-hour laws applied to offshore oil-and-gas drilling on the outer continental shelf.  

Litigation UpdateJun 10, 2019 - 3:45pm

Supreme Court holds that the federal government is not a “person” authorized to file an inter partes review petition challenging the validity of a patent

In Return Mail, Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service, in a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Sotomayor, the Supreme Court held that the federal government is not a “person” able to challenge the validity of a patent under the American Invents Act (AIA). 

Litigation UpdateJun 10, 2019 - 8:45am

Supreme Court grants cert. petition concerning the causation standard for proving racial discrimination under 42 USC 1981

In Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African-American Owned Media, the Supreme Court granted review to determine whether a claim of racial discrimination may proceed even if racial animus was not the but-for cause of a defendant’s action, so long as a plaintiff can still demonstrate that discriminatory intent was a factor in that action.

Litigation UpdateJun 10, 2019 - 8:30am

Supreme Court grants cert. petition concerning federal preemption of state environmental remedies under CERCLA

In Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, the Supreme Court will determine whether the Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (also known as Superfund) preempts state law claims for additional cleanup on remediated sites.