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 4 multi-national law firms, K&L Gates, LLP; Kilpatrick Townsend, LLP, Dentons, LLP, and Sherman & Howard, L.L.C. Their donated services leverage a multi-sector partnership for the common good. They provide specialized expertise in monitoring and reviewing cases, as well as crafting briefs. Their commitment to JAI indicates that respected professionals in the legal establishment believe the program can make a difference.

Access to Care

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, numerous lawsuits were filed to invalidate it. After thorough consideration, ACS and ACS CAN decided to join with the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association in filing an amicus brief in federal appelate courts and at the Supreme Court of the United States to support the patient protection provisions of ACA.

ACS CAN won a reversal of an adverse breast and cervical coverage decision in Tennessee. Through ACS's Health Insurance Assistance Service, ACS CAN learned that Tennessee had wrongfully denied Medicaid coverage to a woman who was eligible for the program under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000 (BCCPTA).

Cancer survivors who suffer dental damage as a result of their cancer treatment should have their dental costs covered by Medicaid.

Tobacco Litigation

In the 1950s, scientific studies by the American Cancer Society and others established a definitive link between tobacco use and cancer. After the US Surgeon General issued a report in 1964, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) promulgated the first regulations requiring cigarette packs to display warnings relating to health. With few changes, those warnings remain in place today.

A number of marketing and advertising limitations in the new law are currently being challenged in court. The tobacco industry filed suit in August of 2009 claiming that certain marketing and advertising restrictions in FSPTCA violate their constitutional right to free speech.

In June 2011, the FDA published a final rule including nine textual and graphic warnings it would require under the FSPTCA on 50% of the front and back of every cigarette pack.

Quality of Life

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.

On April 15, ACS CAN and ACS South Atlantic Division filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit in Fink v.

Medical Research

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