JAI Celebrates Fifteen Years of Action!
This month, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of ACS CAN's Judicial Advocacy Initiative (JAI). JAI was founded on the fact that ACS CAN must have a presence and influence in every branch of government to effectively advance our cancer mission. Through JAI, highly trained attorneys across the country contribute their expertise to further a wide range of mission goals. From its inception in August 2008 until December 2022, the program had resulted in $5.6 million in contributed services from law firms, with over $600,000 contributed in 2022 alone.
More importantly, JAI has enabled ACS CAN to take the leading role in representing patient groups in litigation that greatly impacts our policy agenda, particularly in the priority areas of access to health care and tobacco control. Through JAI, we elevate the scientific evidence and the cancer patient voice when important decisions are being made in the judicial branch of government. JAI attorneys write and submit amicus curiae (or "friend of the court") briefs in cases that determine whether statutes and regulations we fought for or against will stand. Through these briefs, we provide scientific or medical information relevant to a specific court case. Also, amicus briefs have proven impact: in a report spanning ten terms of the US Supreme Court, the justices cited amicus as authority in over half of their decisions.
I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about key cases in which ACS CAN has engaged via our JAI portfolio. Examples include: Defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in three different structural challenges that worked their way through the circuit courts and up to the US Supreme Court from 2010-2021; advocating for the ability of Medicaid enrollees to continue using civil rights laws to enforce their benefits at the US Supreme Court; and fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals to receive health care services without discrimination.