Republican lawmakers in several states who face losing control over their legislatures or governorships come January are working to weaken the powers of the Democrats coming along behind them, according to The Associated Press.
Some of these last-ditch efforts are likely to be challenged in court.
> In Michigan, where the GOP has held the levers of power for nearly eight years, Republican legislators want to water down a minimum wage law they approved before the election so that it would not go to voters and would now be easier to amend.
> Republicans in neighboring Wisconsin are discussing ways to dilute Democrat Tony Evers' power before he takes over for GOP Gov. Scott Walker. And in North Carolina, Republicans may try to hash out the requirements of a new voter ID constitutional amendment before they lose their legislative supermajorities and their ability to unilaterally override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
> Republicans downplay the tactics and point out that Democrats have also run lame-duck sessions, including in Wisconsin in 2010 before Walker took office and the GOP took control of the Legislature. But some of the steps Republicans are expected to take will almost surely be challenged in court, and critics say such maneuvers undermine the political system and the will of the people, who voted for change.
Michigan and Wisconsin are two of four states where Republicans will lose power over the governorship and both legislative chambers, making this lame-duck session particularly intense, the AP noted.
> Lame-duck sessions, which are commonplace in Congress but rare among many state legislatures, are frenetic, as legislators rush to consider bills that are controversial or were put on the backburner during election season. Michigan's 2012 session, for example, produced right-to-work laws and a contentious revised emergency manager statute for cities in financial peril, despite voters having just repealed the previous law.