FROM THE WASHINGTON POST: Here’s the funny thing about this month’s lame-duck session of Congress, in which frantic lawmakers have pinballed from tax cuts to “don’t ask, don’t tell” to a nuclear weapons treaty:

It’s not supposed to exist.

In 1933, historians say, the country ratified a constitutional amendment intended to kill off sessions like this – in which defeated legislators return to legislate. The headline in The Washington Post at the time was “Present Lame Duck Session Will Be Last.”

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But because of a hole in that amendment, modern Congresses have not only met as lame ducks but have used the post-election session to take some of their most memorable votes.

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What do YOU think about the lame duck session of The U.S. Congress? Are they getting a lot of work done? Is it too little too late? Or are they finally doing what we wanted them to do? What do you think the role of the Congress SHOULD be during this time before new legislators are sworn into office?

Additionally …

These sessions seemed to violate the ever-popular Washington rule that “elections have consequences.” Finally, Congress passed – and the states ratified – the 20th Amendment.

Historians say lawmakers thought they were ending lame-duck Congresses forever.

“The big mistake of the crafters of the 20th Amendment was that they didn’t really anticipate airplane travel,” said Bruce Ackerman, a Yale University law professor. “It takes a lot of time to go from a district in Texas by train to Washington, D.C. Who’s going to schlep there?”

Still, for the next 47 years, the amendment seemed mostly to work as intended. There were some lame-duck sessions, often in wartime, but no grand legislative agendas.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.