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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Many employers with a religious or moral objection to contraception don't have to cover birth control in their workers' health care plans, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.

The big picture: The court has been wrestling for years with religious objections to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate. Today's 7-2 ruling put the court's stamp of approval on a relatively broad set of exemptions.

How we got here: The Obama administration, as part of its implementation of the ACA, required all employer-based health insurance plans to cover all federally approved forms of contraception, with no co-pays or other cost-sharing for workers.

  • That requirement has been challenged in court several times, and the Supreme Court has consistently sided with employers seeking exemptions from the rules.
  • It created the first exemption in 2014. After the Obama administration tried to rewrite the rules in response, the court made it try again.
  • Then the Trump administration came in and created new, broader exemptions. Critics sued, saying the administration hadn't followed the proper procedures for writing those rules. Tuesday's ruling rejected that claim, saying the Trump administration acted within its legal authority.

Where it stands now: Companies that aren't publicly traded only need to assert a moral objection — not necessarily a religious one — to gain an exemption from the coverage requirement. Any employer can seek a religious exemption.

  • Religiously affiliated universities are exempt, as are houses of worship.

Go deeper

Biden on court packing: It "depends" how the Barrett confirmation is "handled"

Joe Biden said at an ABC town hall on Thursday night that he will come out with a clear position on court packing by Election Day, but that his answer on the issue will depend on how the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is "handled."

The state of play: Biden said he has "not been a fan" of expanding the court because it would change the court's makeup depending on who the president is. But he signaled he would be "open to considering what happens" if Republicans push through Barrett's confirmation before the election without proper debate in the Senate.

Former D.C. Guard alleges Army Generals lied about Jan. 6 response

Members of the National Guard and Capitol police keep a small group of pro-Trump demonstrators away from the Capitol following the insurrection on Jan. 6. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A former D.C. National Guard official has alleged that top Army generals "lied" to Congress in their testimony on the U.S. Capitol riot, Politico first reported Monday.

The big picture: Col. Earl Matthews, who was serving on Jan. 6, alleges in a memo that the official version on the military response is "worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist" and that the Pentagon inspector general's November report on it features "myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis."

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.