In it, but not of it. TPM DC

President Barack Obama appears to have options to act alone to fill the birth control coverage gap for thousands of women created by the Supreme Court's ruling against Obamacare's contraceptive mandate, legal experts say.

The Supreme Court said religious business owners like Hobby Lobby may opt out of providing cost-free insurance coverage for emergency contraception such as the morning-after pill and intrauterine devices (IUDs), which means their female employees would have no option other than to pay for birth control out-of-pocket.

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Everybody is looking for distance between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Every current political issue is run through her. Reporters are parsing her media appearances and recently released book for any arm-lengthening by Clinton from the current administration.

It's going to be a real question for her campaign, should she decide to run. Republicans want to tie her to the most unpopular elements of the Obama White House, while Democrats remain fond of the 44th president. As the administration's former secretary of state, the questions are inevitable and they will require a certain balancing act on Clinton's part.

So what might she do to set herself apart? Veterans of two previous presidential campaigns that faced the same question offered TPM a guess: Hillary Clinton can say that she will, as one strategist put it, "get shit done."

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The Supreme Court said in a landmark ruling on Monday that "closely held" corporations with religious owners may opt out of Obamacare's birth control mandate, a definition that sounds narrow in scope but actually comprises a vast majority of American businesses.

The most immediate impact will be felt by the female employees of Hobby Lobby (which employs 13,000 people total) and Conestoga Wood (which employs 1,000 people), who will no longer have cost-free access to emergency contraceptives like the morning-after pill. Beyond that, health care experts and pro-choice advocates say it's close to impossible to know precisely how many women will be affected because it depends on which employers opt out.

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While the company Hobby Lobby triumphed at the U.S. Supreme Court in challenging Obamacare's contraceptive mandate on Monday, the Court does not seem to have flung open the floodgates for anti-LGBT discrimination as some had feared it might.

Instead, legal observers noted, the ultimate resolution has been left for another day on whether a private business could lawfully discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds. But Justice Anthony Kennedy offered gay rights advocates a glimmer of hope on that front as well.

The Court ruled 5-4 that the government could not mandate "closely held" private companies with sincerely held religious beliefs, like Hobby Lobby, to cover certain kinds of birth control for their employees. That decision hinged in part on the religious freedom rights of a private corporation. Prior to the ruling, LGBT rights advocates had worried that a broad decision could open the doors for more anti-gay discrimination bills like the Arizona bill that stirred national debate earlier this year.

Based on initial readings of the Hobby Lobby decision, LGBT advocates seemed to have dodged a bullet. The Court's ruling, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, is explicitly narrow in effect. But some advocates worry that those pushing anti-LGBT bills will see an opening to introduce new bills and file new lawsuits to legitimize discrimination. Whether they'd win, though, is much less clear.

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A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday ruled that "closely held" for-profit corporations cannot be forced to abide by Obamacare's mandate to cover contraception for female employees in their insurance plans at no extra cost.

The decision is a major victory for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, two businesses with Christian owners which sued for relief from having to cover emergency contraceptives like Ella and Plan B due to their religious beliefs. The ruling is narrower than it could have been: publicly held businesses may not be allowed to opt out of the mandate. (Religious nonprofits were given an accommodation; houses of worship are exempt.)

The vote was 5 to 4. The Republican-appointed justices sided with Hobby Lobby while the Democratic-appointed justices sided with the Obama administration.

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