• We do the Bridge-Walks on Saturday mornings assuming no rain or other commitments. We meet at 7:45 a.m. and begin walking to the Golden Gate Bridge at 8:00 a.m. It's okay to arrive late; you'll just have to catch up or meet us after the turn at Fort Point. 7:45 a.m. SFYC-Marina parking lot to GGB & return, assuming a decent weather forecast. This is a walk TO, not over, the bridge, and back.

  • Description: Unless otherwise noted, all walks proceed as follows: we begin at the parking lot shown as Yacht Road on Mapquest adjacent to the north end of the Marina Green next to the St. Francis Yacht Club. We meet at 7:45 a.m. and at 8:00 a.m. ambling towards the Golden Gate Bridge, which is about a mile-and-a-quarter away. If you're late, it's easy to catch up. The round trip takes about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. There are comfort stations at each end. Snacks and a bookstore are at the Warming Hut near the Bridge. Plenty of birds and boats to see along the way. Bring a friend or child, a camera or binoculars. Dress for wind and weather. Drizzles don't bother, rainstorms will cancel. We talk about something, nothing, birds, plants, boats, whatever, and if it relates to Con-Law, so much the better, but that's not required. We enjoy ourselves, basically, by getting fresh air and taking a more or less brisk walk, depending on what stops we make to smell the flowers or view a bird.


  • Choose a work that you love and you won't have to work another day. Confucius
  • A sound mind in a sound body under a sound Constitution, that's our motto. rs
  • The key to nearly everything is a competent investigation, which means one conducted with integrity, an attempt to see where you might be wrong. RS w/ thanks to RPF
  • The key to creating an illusory world is a biased selection of facts according to a preconceived notion. - Thomas Sowell
  • The past isn't dead, it's all around you... rs
  • The past isn't dead. It isn't even past. -- Wm. Faulkner
  • If Constitutional Law doesn't get your dander up, you're not getting it. -- R. Sheridan
  • The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, but remember, you are the easiest person to fool. -- Richard P. Feynman
  • No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. -- U.S. Constitution, Amends 5, 14
  • No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned,...or in any other way destroyed...except by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. - Magna Carta
  • The only thing new under the sun is the history you don't know. -- Harry S Truman
  • Study the past if you would divine the future. -- Confucius







April 26, 2005



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Mike Cheek

Hmmmm. In the letter from The Alliance For Justice there is a quote from Strom Thurmond and an appeal to the Original Intent of the Founding Fathers. Hmmmm. Hmmm. I thought this was what right wingers were suppposed to do!

Well, in dealing with such things as the filibuster, we're getting into the "sausage making" part of law making. Important stuff and grisly at times, but not a constitutional issue, I don't think.

Jeff F

"When all else fails in the democratic polital process, the next resort is to the Supreme Court on a question of constitutionality."

You mention two cases in which the SCOTUS was able to declare legislation unconstitutional. However, in the case of Senate rules, I think the Court would refuse to rule on grounds of justiciability deeming it a political question. Thus claiming the Ct would be the final arbiter is moot - it would never get to the question.

As you are aware, the Constitution requires only "advise and consent", it is up to the Senate to determine the process by which the "advise and consent" takes place. I fail to see how any Court (especially a Rehnquist-Scalia Court) would interfere in this issue to declare a Senate parliamentary rule as constitutional or unconstitutional.

And yes, you rightly point out civil rights legislation as a time when the filibuster was used for a bad purpose. However, it is a tool with a long history. Dems and Repubs have both used filibuster for other uses. David Sirota mentions other times the filibuster has been used including to block appropriations for the Vietnam war and to help farmers on the brink of bankruptcy.

I guess my point is simple: the filibuster is a tool and like any tool can be used for good or bad. Just as I can build a house with a hammer, I can also use the same hammer to crack open a person's skull. My use of the hammer in no way reflects on the goodness or badness of the hammer. It may not be Democratic and I may grant you that... but then I would argue that the Federal Gov't as set up in the US Const is not a true democracy nor was it ever meant to be one. That discussion would be for another day however...

By the way, thanks for the comment response. I enjoy the discussion and, since you ended your original post with a question, I thought it deserved a response. I have your blog bookmarked and read it everyday. I found the site searching for sample Constitutional Law essay questions.


What a thoughtful comment; thank you very much.

It seems odd that we pay lip service to "the majority rules" principle for the winning of elections, but when the winner wants to have his way, we rebel, using the filibuster.

Granted that other countries, other systems, and ours is not parliamentary, such as Britain's.

Many corporations use a system of "cumulative" voting in which voters (shareholders) are given a number of votes which they can allocate as they wish in order to try to insure at least some representation on the board of non-majority directors.

When all else fails in the democratic political process, the next resort is to the Supreme Court on a question of constitutionality.

The Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board (1954) and Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) trumped the Southern Bloc by declaring unconstitutional segregation in the public elementary and high schools, and racially restrictive covenants in residential deeds. That was the only way around the Southern Bloc and the filibuster at the time.

Now the Democratic liberals are picking up the same filibuster club they so hated half a century ago.

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