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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

Appeals panel halts ruling allowing subpoena for Trump tax returns

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A federal appeals panel on Tuesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling that would have forced President Trump to comply with a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance for eight years of his financial records.

What to watch: The panel set oral arguments for Trump's appeal for Sept. 25. Trump's lawyers have already signaled their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court if they lose, further extending the legal fight that began last September.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.