courtroom and gavel Thegovernment estimates that under the Trump administration's expandedexemptions between 70,500 and 126,400 women would lose access tocost-free birth control in one year. (Photo: David Handschuh/NYLJ,ALM)

The Trump administration had legal authority to allow privateemployers with moral or religious objections to opt out ofproviding birth control health insurance required under theAffordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

"We hold today that the departments had the statutory authorityto craft that [religious] exemption, as well as thecontemporaneously issued moral exemption," Justice Clarence Thomaswrote for a 7-2 majority. "We further hold that the rulespromulgating these exemptions are free from proceduraldefects."

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Marcia Coyle

Marcia Coyle, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @MarciaCoyle