March 12, 2016

The politics of getting 17-year-olds the right to vote in the Ohio primary.

On March 8th, the NYT said "Bernie Sanders Sues Over Ohio Rule Barring 17-Year-Olds From Primary," but yesterday's NYT article — "Bernie Sanders Praises Ruling Allowing 17-Year-Olds to Vote in Ohio" — began "A group of 17-year-olds in Ohio has successfully persuaded a state judge to allow them to vote in the state’s primary on Tuesday."

Who brought the lawsuit? Sanders or a group of teenagers? Answer: Both. The March 8th article says that Sanders filed a suit in federal district court. (He argued that the Ohio Secretary of State Jon A. Husted, had "'arbitrarily' discriminated against young black and Latino voters by not allowing 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the general election to vote in Ohio’s primary next week.")

But the decision that was announced yesterday came from a state judge. The article about the victory at the trial court level in that case eventually refers to the federal court case. A decision in that case is expected on Monday (and I'll bet that the federal judge abstains in deference to the state court proceedings). There was duplicative litigation, presumably to increase the publicity about the issue and the likelihood of some useful action from a court.

The primary is this coming Tuesday, so how is this litigation supposed to play out sensibly? There will be an appeal from the state court's decision, and the state appellate courts will have to act very quickly, perhaps visiting disappointment on the teenagers at the 11th hour, just as they were envisioning their sunny jaunt to the polls for the very first time.

Young people are being encouraged to feel that they are being treated unfairly, discriminated against, and I expect the primary day media to be filled with fresh-faced idealistic 17-year-olds yearning to participate in democracy. They've got to fill the airwaves with something on Tuesday, as we're so interested in what's happening but there are no results to report yet. How many 18- and 19-year-olds will feel inspired to go down there to the polls and vote on behalf of their oppressed fellow teenagers and cast that vote for Bernie, the old man who cares about the youngest of the young voters? And even older voters will get a charge out of the fight against that "'arbitrar[y]' discriminat[ion] against young black and Latino voters."

Oh, it's a fine brew of law and politics. Drink up, children! Feel the Bern!

41 comments:

rhhardin said...

Kids suddenly become wise at 18, but are stupid before that.

That's why you don't want 17 year olds voting in the primary before they're 18.

There will be a wiser choice available to them in the general election, thanks to it.

rhhardin said...

Raise the age for judges, too.

David Begley said...

Were White 17 year old teenagers harmed or just Black and Latino teenagers?

Michael K said...

When Bernie is not there in the general election, that will be the last time they vote for 20 years.

Of course, others will vote using their ID.

Phil 3:14 said...

Which one would vote for Bernie?

Original Mike said...

I don't know. Are 17 year olds ready to vote? It's not as easy as ordering a pizza, after all.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Typical progressive shenanigans appealing to the basest racist impulse even in a case hinging on age.

Laslo Spatula said...

If seventeen is good enough to vote with the adults then seventeen is good enough to have sex with the adults.

I am Laslo.

sydney said...

Alienated blacks and Latinos, you say? I don't think so.. Western Reserve Academy is an expensive private school where the elite of many states and nations send their children. It's a boarding school.

Paul said...

Why not 16? 15? How about 10 year olds?

Personally, I think 21 years old and paying, income tax, and being a legal citizen should be the criteria.

Most teenagers can't even pour pee out of a boot with the directions on the heel.

rehajm said...

Hopefully they get tripped up by being accustomed to swiping right for approval.

PB said...

Federal healthcare law says children can be on their parents policy until age 26. I think that's a good age for voting, too

Fernandinande said...

David Begley said...
Were White 17 year old teenagers harmed or just Black and Latino teenagers?


Obviously the white teenagers don't matter. Perhaps they don't even exist.

Why do news articles generally keep the judges anonymous? Or is that the case only when the judges are idiotic? (hence "generally").

Fred Drinkwater said...

Vote. Drink. Shoot. Screw. All same age. You are adult or you are not.

Danno said...

Is this only for the component of 17 year olds who will be 18 by election day?

David Begley said...

Eighteen to vote and join the military but 21 to drink alcohol.

Mark said...

Everyone is missing the real point here. It is not up to the secretary of state or the state itelf or the judiciary to decide whether to open the primary to 17-year-olds. That is entirely a decision of the Democrat Party. It does not matter if the state has agreed to run the whole operation, it is the Party's party. They decide.

It's called freedom of association. I know that that is out of favor with a lot of today's relativists who want to ram their insanity down the throats of other people, but without freedom of association, we have no freedom, only tyranny.

Whether it is wise to have 17-year-olds voting, or 15- or 12- or 10-year-olds is another question entirely. But that is for the Party to decide.

Danno said...

California legislators voted last week to raise the age to 21 to buy cigarettes.

sunsong said...

The previous dem primaries all allowed teens who will be 18 in Nov to vote. Ohio is being challenged to do the same...

Captain Curt said...

Is there any legal case whatsoever for their argument?

If they can vote now because they would be 18 by the general election, how about those who would be 18 by the end of the next presidential term?

rastajenk said...

In Ohio, 17 yo's have for 30 years been able to vote in primaries if they will be 18 in November. But they have always been restricted to voting for individual candidates, not issues or anything else. And the presidential primary falls into the "anything else" category, because you're actually voting for convention delegates, not individual candidates.

So now there's a candidate that has more appeal to young people than most in the last 30 years, and they want to change the rules. I don't agree with the decision, but it's not really that important. I'm working an Ohio poll Tuesday, and I already know that there are only four 17-year-old registered voters in my precinct. And they could vote Republican for all we know. So it shouldn't be a big deal, but I guess it could spun into one. There is not same-day registration in Ohio, so there will not be a big rush on the poll locations as a result of this decision.

Paul said...

"Vote. Drink. Shoot. Screw. All same age. You are adult or you are not."

Fred, screwing does not make you smart, just horny and making babies. Drinking does not make you smart... at all!

But voting has CONSEQUENCES for the whole nation.

chuck said...

Young people are dumb with unformed opinions. When a candidate wants to give them the vote, it is because he needs the votes of the ignorant and unproductive. The left has always pushed for young participants for that reason. And I include the twenty-sixth amendment giving the vote to 18 year olds in that category.

Mark said...

The Ohio Democrat Party can choose its delegates to the Democrat Party Convention any damn way it wants. They can let 17-year-olds vote or they can throw darts at a board or they can go take a poll of ISIS and let them decide. It does not have to be rational, it does not have to be fair, it does not have to be equal. Neither the state of Ohio or "the whole nation" have a say in the matter. It is for the Party to decide.

Michael said...

So what is the law? What gives state or federal courts jurisdiction? Or doesn't anyone care anymore, as long as some judge thinks it's "fair"? Surely there was some rationale given.

Hagar said...

Lord of the Flies.

LarsPorsena said...

".......It is for the Party to decide."

Thank you, comrade Mark.

glenn said...

If 17 is old enough to vote 17 is old enough to be charged as an adult for crimes you commit. Every crime.

EMD said...

I support wide open voting. No age limits. Vote as often as you wish!

Might as well have the voting process match the total corruption of the Capitol District.

buck said...

It's going in the wrong direction. The voting age should be increased to 21.

I read an interesting opinion recently that the voting, drinking, and parent's health insurance ages should all be the same. You want to stay on your parent's health insurance until you're 26? OK, then that's your voting and drinking age as well. You want to vote at 18? Then get your own health insurance when you graduate from high school. Interesting concept...

Crimso said...

"It is for the Party to decide."

And all of the parties should damned well run their primaries without using ANY government resources to do it.

n.n said...

Idealistic and inexperienced is the favored demographic of totalitarian regimes and gateway ideologies.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Paul,
The point, which I mistakenly thought was clear, is that under law, these things are regulated differently because of 1) perception of maturity level, and 2) perception of societal consequences. My position is that at some reasonable point or age, adulthood is adulthood, and it's just misbegotten social engineering to try to fiddle these details.
Besides, the idea that I can be a Marine rifleman with all the responsibility and consequence that implies, but cannot buy a beer or a smoke, is absurd. Personally, I'd love to be able to think US law is not absurd.

Mark said...

And all of the parties should damned well run their primaries without using ANY government resources to do it.

Fine by me. It wasn't the parties that forced the government to use its election process for the primaries. The government did that on its own. But the government cannot then use that as an excuse to interject itself into the party's determination of who it will nominate.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Voting rights after the second trimester!

$250.00/hour minimum wage!

Free education through second Doctorate for all!

Free jobs for everyone!

rastajenk said...

Can someone explain to me what Mark is harping on about? I'm just totally missing it.

Rick said...

Mark said...
Everyone is missing the real point here. It is not up to the secretary of state or the state itelf or the judiciary to decide whether to open the primary to 17-year-olds. That is entirely a decision of the Democrat Party. It does not matter if the state has agreed to run the whole operation, it is the Party's party. They decide.

It's called freedom of association.


Some states mandate that people of other parties be allowed to vote in the primary. So obviously the "freedom of association" argument is not operative. I wonder why people struggle so hard to re-assert rights that have long been written out of the constitution with their full support.

Paul said...

Fred,
The idea that one can be a Marine rifleman with all the responsibility and consequence that implies, but cannot buy a beer or a smoke, is not absurd. The marine rifleman is STRICTLY supervised by older NCOs. You are not supervised by anyone when buying a beer or smoking or anything else.

But, you see, things like voting have consequences... Like Obama. And that should take some maturity that usually older age gives.

Douglas said...

Hell, this makes perfect sense to me. Kids ought to be able to drink before their 21st birthdays, too, because, after all they are going to be 21 soon, right?

I go back to my original proposal. Let's raise the voting and driving ages by a few years (say to 25), and lower the drinking age to 17.

mikee said...

I remember when that rat f**king bastard Nixon created the nationwide 55mph speed limit, just months before I got my driver's license. I remember feeling wronged then, too, along with most of the other drivers in the US.

Nixon was forced from office less than 9 months after signing that abomination into law..

Meade said...

Richard Nixon saved your young life.