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Old September 10, 2010, 08:54 AM   #16
Al Norris
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Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
Posts: 9,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildalaska
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
One might take the road that 18 years are not responsible. Evidence shows not full developed front cortices that inhibit risky behavior. That we let them have guns in the military is ok because they are tightly supervised.
That takes it out of arbitrary doesnt it? Or at least part of arbitrary
Do we allow the ignorant to speak? Assemble? Protest? Religion of their choice? What age restrictions have the courts allowed within the framework of the 1st amendment? Time, place or manner, yes. Age, no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildalaska
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
However, the reasonable counterpoint is why do we let the irrational vote?
Apples and oranges. The better counterpoint is why we dont let 18 year olds drink.
Drinking? Sorry, there is no right to drink alcoholic beverages. Even the passage of the 18th amendment, the Congress did not claim or state that drinking alcohol was a right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildalaska
Some rights and responsiblities need to be earned with age and the question is best not answered with rote soundbites. ...
As far as the enumerated rights, I'll ask again: What other fundamental right is withheld from an adult, by governmental action, based solely upon age?

Quote:
... Need we discuss age of consent laws?
Other than perhaps with yourself, you have no right to engage in sex. Otherwise, sexual activity between consenting adults is lawful. The fact that some States have different ages for consent, as regards sexual activity, is neither here nor there (Lawrence v. Texas).

Let's get back to the voting bit.

By the late 60's, most States were already leaning at legislative actions that placed the age of adulthood at 18. The right to marry. The right to enter into contracts. The right to be treated as an adult (at 18), in most all manners (civilly and criminally), was pretty well universal.

The cement, as it were, to this movement was set in place on July 1 of 1971, when the 26th amendment was ratified and became a part of the Constitution: The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age. (emphasis, mine)

Thereafter, any State that was lagging, quickly put into place the necessary legislation that affirmed the Congress' intent; That a citizen of 18 was a fully vested adult.

A law passed in 1968 (the GCA), that applied an arbitrary age to handgun possession, cannot withstand any level of judicial scrutiny after the passage of the 26th amendment, the decision in Heller and the decision in McDonald.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
Evidence shows not full developed front cortices that inhibit risky behavior.
This same evidence also shows that by age 21, the frontal cortex is still developing, in many individuals. The rate of development is also different for individuals. There is no time-table by which the medical community can agree that an individual is fully developed. Physically or mentally.

If the Constitution can set arbitrary age limits on the Presidency, the Senate and the House, it can also set the age of majority (a term of art meaning adulthood). Laws must then abide by those Constitutional limitations.
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