Options remain for the Trump administration after another setback this week in its ongoing legal battle with Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) requires most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost. Exemptions are available for religious organizations, but the Trump administration wanted to allow more categories of employers – including publicly traded companies – to opt out if they have religious objections.
California argued that the change could result in millions of women in the state losing free birth-control services, leading to unintended pregnancies that would tax the state's healthcare and other social programs. A divided Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with California on Thursday.
So what happens now?
"The Trump administration can either choose to have the full panel of Ninth Circuit judges to hear the case, or they can go directly to the Supreme Court," answers Abraham Hamilton III, legal counsel for the American Family Association.
Should the Trump administration go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, don't expect a quick ruling from the justices, says the attorney.
"It's not likely that it would be a part of this immediate term before the Supreme Court," says Hamilton. "It would more than likely be in the next term to hear the case."
The Department of Justice said in court documents that the rules were about protecting a small group of "sincere religious and moral objectors" from having to violate their beliefs.
California's lawsuit to block the changes was joined by Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.