Has the "Drinking Age" ever been contested in court as age discrimination?

Alright, the age of majority is 18. You can do EVERYTHING except for buy alcohol…is this not age discrimination? Has it ever been challenged in court?

What law, specifically, do you believe forbids “age discrimination?”

To answer your first question: yes, it is age discrimination.

Student: “That’s discrimination!”

Me: “Yes it is. Discrimination means telling the difference between things and making choices bases on that. That’s what I did. I suggest you go tell someone about it.”

Are you sure?

At age 18 you cannot run and be elected to the House of Representatives (it’s 25), Senate (it’s 30) or even the presidency (it’s 35).

At age 18 you have not attained the age of majority in all states. Some still have it at 19, even 21.

Is this age discrimination? Yes, it is. But is this unlawful age discrimination? No.

So is there no law forbidding age discrimination? I don’t know anything about the law, so I’m basing everything on assumptions which might be wrong. I’m just assuming that the “age of majority” means that you’re an adult, and able to do anything you want within the bounds of the law.

There are some laws that forbid age discrimnation in some circumstances.

There is no law forbidding age discrimination in all circumstances.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

If the state can show a good reason for prohibiting people from under age 21 from buying alcohol, then it won’t have much problem. Presumably a state could raise the drinking age to 35 if it wanted to. (Arbitrary number chosen).

States were given the right under the 21st amendment to regulate the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. All states switched to a 21 years of age minimum for alcohol purchasing when the Federal government threatened to withhold Federal highway funding to states that didn’t comply.

And (sorry no cite handy), this issue was taken to the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court pretty much said “Fine by us.”

“Fine by us” is why I don’t write opinions for the Supreme Court.

Exactly right. A state could, in fact, ban the sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone of any age. Or, for that matter, lower the legal drinking age to 6.

IANAL, but if it’s in the Constitution, it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s consitutional.

The issue in my mind is not a case of age discrimination but a loss of state’s powers in the face of federal blackmail.
What a crappy precedent to set.

The Supreme Court case that allowed the Federal Government to force states to raise the drinking age to 21 was South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203

The Supreme Court ruling, written by Rehnquist, stated that Congress, under its spending powers, has the right to influence state behavior and the withholding of Federal highway funds was not considered unreasonable. If the Federal government tried to do something like force every state to make all of its residents wear purple every day by withholding all funds to pay for Medicare, then it’s likely that wouldn’t be upheld since making people wear purple is likely not going to be proven to have any benefits to society.

I’ve always found it amusing that the Act “protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age.” If you’re 22, and believe that you’re suffering employment discrimination because of your age, the Act doesn’t help you.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is guilty of age discrimination. I love it. :smack:

AFAIK, you’re correct. However, drinking when you’re under 21 is not within the bounds of the law.

Then you will just love this opinion from exactly one year ago …

Source: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20040303.html