THE LAME-DUCK session of Congress is not likely to pass much major legislation. That's the good news. The bad news is that it could pass a lot of bad laws. Not the big laws that you've heard about but little measures that escape the notice of the general public but that mean a great deal to the well-organized few. Here are some examples that everyone should be watching like a hawk:
* The SIXPAC bill. This would allow beer wholesalers to be given exclusive territories and would tend to raise the price of beer.
* The Shipping Act. This bill would allow shipping firms exemptions from antitrust laws for certain agreements with shipping cartels. The bill passed the House with an overwhelming majority, in part because some legislators who had doubts about it felt it would pass anyway and concentrated on attaching amendments that did, in fact, improve the bill. It still deserves rejection in the Senate, however.
* AMA-FTC. The American Medical Association, long an advocate of free competition, wants doctors to be exempted from the Federal Trade Commission's anticompetition regulations. FTC Chairman James C. Miller III, a Reagan appointee, vigorously disagrees. Mr. Miller has all the good arguments here, but the AMA's political action committee has contributed a lot of money to congressmen over the years.
* FIFRA. Chemical companies are pushing the Senate to amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act so that states can no longer issue stricter pesticide controls than the federal government. The House wisely refused in August, and the Senate should now.
* The local content bill. The United Auto Workers want to require that autos include a certain percentage of American-made parts. This is the most dangerous trade protection bill before Congress, but it may have the votes to pass.
* The Apple Computer bill. Apple Computer says it will contribute a computer to every school if Congress allows it to take a double deduction from its income tax. The House agreed; the Senate may yet decide not to subsidize Apple for doing something in its own interest.
* The Alaska Railroad. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) wants the federal government to give away the $500-million-plus Alaska Railroad to the state. When Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) blocked this bill last fall, Mr. Stevens threatened to go to Ohio and campaign against him. Other senators must have been jealous: who wouldn't like to be attacked for preventing a half-billion-dollar giveaway to a state whose treasury is so flush it sends hefty checks to its citizens? Still, Mr. Stevens may try again.
All these measures richly deserve to be killed.