From the article:
Despite the fact that the Constitution sets forth three branches of government, each with discrete powers and limitations -- the executive, legislative, and judicial -- various agencies, boards, bureaus, departments that today make up the federal administrative state often render the roles and powers of those branches nugatory.
Nugatory is a new word for me. I had to look it up. It means what I suspected it did from the context of the sentence.
I stumbled across this article and it links to my comment in response to Tom Mannle where I said I was suspect of government organization and thought them to be pretty useless and rife for nannyism and control.