Judicial Advocacy Initiative


Taking the Cancer Fight to the Courts

This initiative identifies lawsuits and regulatory actions that impact the fight against cancer and files "friend of the court" briefs or comments to advocate on behalf of cancer patients and survivors, and all people touched by this terrible disease.  The work accomplished by the Judicial Advocacy Initiative is made possible by law firms who are recruited by ACS CAN and who donate services to support its mission.

Initiative Priorities

Court decisions can have a major impact on the fight against cancer. Issues range from the employment rights of cancer patients to the tobacco industry's efforts to circumvent federal law. The JAI Initiative takes the fight against cancer to the courts, protecting the interests of the cancer community. 

Our Supporters

The JAI receives pro bono assistance from nine law firms:  Anderson & Kreiger, Brown Goldstein Levy, Dentons, K&L Gates, Hogan Lovells, Kilpatrick Townsend, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Polsinelli, and Zuckerman Spaeder. Their donated services leverage a multi-sector partnership for the common good. They provide specialized expertise in a wide range of areas, from writing comments to regulatory agencies that govern medical research to tobacco control litigation. Their commitment to JAI indicates that respected professionals in the legal establishment believe the program can make a difference.

Commemorating a Decade of Judicial Advocacy

In September 2018 we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Judicial Advocacy Initiative (JAI). Read the full blog post to learn more.


Access to Care

September 14, 2020

Insurers, doctors and patient groups filed a lawsuit against the administration to invalidate a new rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that could disrupt the health insurance market by extending for up to three years "short-term" policies that lack Affordable Care Ac

May 21, 2020

The American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network filed an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court” brief with 18 other groups urging the U.S.

February 25, 2020

ACS CAN filed an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) brief along with other patient and provider groups opposing work requirements being imposed on Medicaid beneficiaries in the case of Stewart v. Azar. We urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to uphold a lower court ruling finding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) violated federal law by approving work requirements and other barriers to eligibility for Medicaid recipients in Kentucky.

Tobacco Litigation

October 20, 2020

ACS CAN and the American Cancer Society are helping defend the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s final rule requiring graphic warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements by filing amicus curiae briefs in parallel federal lawsuits challenging the rule.

May 11, 2020

ACS CAN and other public health advocates celebrated a huge victory in the war against electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) on May 16. 

October 29, 2019

On September 5, 2018, a federal judge ruled in favor of ACS, ACS CAN and other public health groups that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must expedite a rule requiring graphic warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements.

Healthy Eating and Active Living

April 16, 2018

Sugary drinks contribute to obesity, which is clearly associated with an increased risk of cancer development and recurrence, as well as decreased risk of survival, for many cancers. The city of Philadelphia enacted a tax on soda that was challenged in court.

October 31, 2017

San Francisco passed an ordinance requiring advertisers of sugar-sweetened beverages to place a warning on specific types of advertisements stating that the product "contributes" to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.

Quality of Life

April 10, 2013

Cancer patients and survivors deserve a workplace free from discrimination. To that end, ACS CAN responded to an EEOC request for comments on its regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments of 2008.

Medical Research

May 24, 2013

The Office of Human Research Protections at the Department of Health and Human Services spent years considering changes to the Common Rule, which governs the conduct of medical research funded by 15 different federal agencies.