… The lame-duck phenomenon has changed. In our new political marketplace, the decline of powerful party organizations and the rise of hyperpartisan politics mean that presidents have much less political capital even at the height of their terms. At the same time, they have unprecedented capacity for unilateral executive authority. The great constraints on using that authority are re-election and the midterm congressional elections. But once those are over, the new end-of-term president is not a lame duck anymore. He is a new and more muscular animal altogether. CONT.
Ian Ayres & John Fabian Witt (Yale Law School), New York Times