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, Dentons, K&L Gates, Kilpatrick Townsend, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Polsinelli, Sher Tremonte, 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.


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.

Access to Care

April 23, 2019

The American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network filed an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court” brief with 15 other health groups at the US Court of A

March 19, 2019

Insurers, doctors and patient groups filed a lawsuit in September against the administration to invalidate a new rule that could disrupt the health insurance market by extending for up to three years "short-term" policies that lack Affordable Care Act-guaranteed benefits.  The rule, finalized in

March 25, 2015

ACS and ACS CAN joined with the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association to file amicus briefs in lawsuits challenging the availability of tax credits to people who buy a health plan in the federal marketplace.

Tobacco Litigation

March 19, 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.

December 4, 2018

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA) – signed into law by President Obama in 2009 - granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and sale of tobacco products. Prior to the law, tobacco products were largely unregulated outside of required warning labels and limited restrictions on advertising.

November 27, 2018

After the massive Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between states and the tobacco industry regarding fraud associated with the sale and marketing of cigarettes, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) decided to file a similar lawsuit against the tobacco industry.

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.