How does backlash from consolidated democracies affect the behavior of liberal international institutions? We argue that liberal international institutions have incentives to appease their democratic critics. Liberal institutions rely on democratic support for their continued effectiveness and can accommodate democratic critics at a lower legitimacy cost than non-democratic challengers. We examine this theory in the context of the European Court of Human Rights using a new dataset of rulings until 2019 and a coding of government positions during multiple reform conferences. Combining matching and a difference-in-differences design, we find strong evidence that the Court exercises restraint towards consolidated democracies that have criticized the Court in multilateral reform conferences by rendering fewer violation judgments against these states. We find some evidence that governments have also recently appointed more deferential judges. The findings suggest that backlash can affect liberal international institutions even without membership exit.