Sunlight is the best disinfectant, Justice Brandeis famously declared, praising publicity as a remedy for corruption. But sunlight is more than that; it is an indispensable precondition of life. And to extend the Brandeis metaphor, sunlight in the form of robust public access to government information is essential to the vitality of democratic governance, even in the absence of corruption. Our political institutions cannot function properly without it.

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