The regulation was the latest attempt to undermine the “contraception mandate,” a signature initiative of the Obama administration.
The three decisions were part of a broad examination of the relationship between church and state over the 15-year tenure of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in which the court’s conservative majority has almost always sided with religious groups.
The clash between contraceptive coverage and claims of conscience is a key battleground in the culture wars, and the Supreme Court’s decision is likely to mobilize voters on both sides of the divide.
Two Democrat-controlled House of Representatives committees and New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance – also a Democrat – are demanding the release of his tax returns and other information.
The subpoenas – orders to hand over evidence – were issued last year to Mazars USA, who is Mr. Trump’s accountants, and to major Trump lenders Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers said that the committees have no legitimate need for the information. They contend that he is immune from criminal investigations while he is in office. They add that allowing state and local officials to subpoena sitting presidents could subject them to politically motivated harassment.
Trump loses the accounting firm and the banks have indicated that they will comply with the subpoenas. Had the subpoenas sought evidence from the president himself, there was at least a possibility that he would try to defy a ruling against him, prompting a constitutional crisis.
In the New York case, they were skeptical about a Trump lawyer’s argument that a president cannot be investigated while in office.
This is despite the court having a 5-4 conservative majority and including two Trump appointees – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
In two earlier cases over presidential power, in 1974 the Supreme Court acted unanimously in requiring President Nixon to surrender White House tapes in the Watergate scandal, and in 1997 it allowed a sexual harassment lawsuit to go ahead against President Bill Clinton.