This article on the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan raises this question based on a rather extreme case of intimidating government documents. But it comes up on much simpler NEPA efforts where the agency states that the NEPA process is not about the number of “votes” received on a project. My legalistic response is that NEPA is about getting the facts right to form opinions, not about the opinions themselves, and that opinions can be offered at any time based on any set of facts (or lack thereof). But NEPA is also about providing both useable information and sufficient time for both the decision-maker and the public to understand it before a decision is made.
(I don’t know if there are many NEPA-nerds on this blog, and I don’t remember seeing any previous discussions, but I saw it was a ‘category.’)