The purpose for which Gov. Bev Perdue called lawmakers back today - to try to override her veto of Senate Bill 9 - has already been resolved.
But Republicans aren't ready to go home just yet. The Senate has an 11pm session, and the House is back in at 9:45.
It's unclear what the two chambers plan to take up. House Democrats think they know. They say they've heard GOP leaders are planning to adjourn today's veto session, and then call a new special session at 12:01 am to take up other veto overrides. The two most likely targets would be Senate Bill 709 (drilling/fracking) and House Bill 351, the Voter Photo ID bill.
GOP leaders aren't verifying this. But they aren't denying it, either. So Democrats called a press conference to warn against it. House Dems press conference
House Minority Leader Joe Hackney said a deal had been struck between Democrats and GOP leaders to allow the quick appointment of Rep. Trudi Walend so she would be eligible to vote in the 6:30pm session. "It was a part of that agreement that nothing other than the Racial Justice Act would be taken up," he said.
To hold a midnight surprise session, Hackney said, would be "a misuse and an abuse of the legislative process, and it sets a terrible precedent."
Rep. Mickey Michaux (D-Durham) was even more blunt. "They have made commitments to us all day long," he said. "They have lied to us all the way up and down the ladder."
Even if the rumor doesn't turn out to be true, it's striking proof of this session's scorched-earth partisanship that the majority party would allow such a rumor to circulate unanswered, and that the minority party would hold a press conference to pre-emptively denounce it.
Watch the raw video at right.