The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court

Twice this June, the Supreme Court held that government experts should have less freedom from political influence.

The court decided that the president could exert more control over regulatory agencies, the government institutions that are as important as they sound boring.

While Congress may write laws, agencies are needed to interpret them, apply them and fill in their gaps. Take the government’s efforts to address lead poisoning. Congress passed a statute in 1971, and since then, a suite of agencies has issued regulations that keep up with the latest science on the problem. Such updating is especially needed in an era of political gridlock. Most climate policy, for example, builds on a 1963 statute that hasn’t been amended in nearly 30 years.

Congress initially…

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