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Michael Barone on Constitutional Age Limits:

Michael Barone has a nifty post on his new blog on the historical background to the minimum age requirements in the Constitution.

Redman:
To heck with minimum age, let's have a minimum IQ.
8.4.2005 1:22pm
rbj:
I'd rather a maximum limit on power. It used to be there in black on white, er, yellow, but now the Court can't seem to find it.
8.4.2005 1:36pm
Cheburashka (mail):
A few years back, it would have been useful to limit the number of mistresses a President can have at a time.
8.4.2005 2:05pm
Shelby (mail):
Arguably it would be more useful to require a minimum number of mistresses.
8.4.2005 3:09pm
cfw (mail):
I like the idea of changing the minimum voting age - downward to 14 or so. Might help take care of the "billions for bombers but bake sales for schools problem." No doubt Rove and his ilk would tend to take a dim view of such a change, unless convinced most of the 14-18 bunch will end up "red". Could be interesting due process/equal protection issues to the extent 14-18 year olds pay taxes. Also interesting if economists could tell us that government resources allocated to those in the 14-18 age range are disproportionatly low. I suspect they are, compared to those in the 65-69 range, for example.
8.4.2005 3:22pm
Syd (mail):
Oddly, the constitution does not specify an age limit for judges, including Supreme Court Justices.
8.4.2005 3:27pm
Cheburashka (mail):
Well, if we're heading in this direction, perhaps the law could guarantee a minimum number of mistresses?

If not for the President, what about my needs at least?
8.4.2005 4:21pm
Dick King:
"No doubt Rove and his ilk would tend to take a dim view of such a change, unless convinced most of the 14-18 bunch will end up "red"." This is unreasonably smarmy, as it seems very likely, especially to the leading proponent of a lower voting age [leading liberal Democrat John Vasconcellos in California] that most teens will vote economically liberal, since they've never paid taxes and may well not understand the fallacy of something for nothing.

The age of majority used to be a state issue until the Vietnam war, which was peopled with an extensive draft. Then people made the quite reasonable argument that if you have the responsibility to serve if drafted you should have the right to vote. Then it seemed silly to have a different age of majority for different purposes, so the states were induced to change their ages of majority.

I, for one, believe that rights flow from responsibilities.

John Vasconcellos is proposing 1/4 vote from 14-16 and 1/2 vote from 16-18. I'm sure he realizes that the supreme court would never tolerate this and would give the 14-18 year olds a full vote.

-dk
8.4.2005 6:25pm
cfw (mail):
"This is unreasonably smarmy, as it seems very likely, especially to the leading proponent of a lower voting age [leading liberal Democrat John Vasconcellos in California] that most teens will vote economically liberal, since they've never paid taxes and may well not understand the fallacy of something for nothing."

I suppose that is conventional wisdom. Not sure things would break that way if Republicans organized well. Often times, Democrats just look like losers in the red states.

"I, for one, believe that rights flow from responsibilities."

I have not much problem with this point, so long as it is not an income test. Lots of folks with no income have rights to vote. Taxes are a responsibility at 14-18. Once can be tried as an adult in most states from 14 to 18.

"John Vasconcellos is proposing 1/4 vote from 14-16 and 1/2 vote from 16-18. I'm sure he realizes that the supreme court would never tolerate this and would give the 14-18 year olds a full vote."

I note that there are moves afoot in Germany and Britain as well to reduce the voting age. I like the "one person one vote" approach, assuming the person has the average intelligence (and ability to learn) of a 14 year old. I suspect the "no such thing as a free lunch" idea is pretty easy to grasp (or forget) at 14 or 44 or 64.

If a 14 year old who paid taxes (income taxes) sued saying my equal protection rights are being violated, see the "one person one vote" cases, could she prevail?
8.4.2005 8:15pm
Grey (www):
"I, for one, believe that rights flow from responsibilities."


Sure. Who needs permanent rights, after all, as long as they can be granted by and for those who divine such things as "importance," "respect," "gravitas" and "elitism"?
8.4.2005 10:44pm