March 11, 1970 CONGRESSIONAL' RECORD-SENATE 83501
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. Pres1ctent, how
goes the time?
The PRESIDING OFFICER The
Senator from Montana has 6 minutes
remaining and the Senator from Pennsylvania
has 3 minutes remaining.
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I
yield myself as much time as I may require
within the 6 minutes.
Mr. Pres,ident, so far as I am aware,
not a Member of this body, to my knowledge,
has spoken during this floor debate
against extending the voting franchise to
those 18 and above. There is a great deal
of concern about the proper way to
achieve this objective. Some persons
think, very honestly, that the only way
is through the constitutional process.
Others think It is by statute.
There has been a lot of talk this morning
about the Randolph constitutional
amendment resolution, with 74 or 75
signatures, which now resides within the
confines of the Judiciary Committee.
There has been some talk, encouraging at
least on the surface, that If we do not
do anything about this, or let it slide
by, it will not be long before the Randolph
resolution will be reported out of
the Judiciary Committee.
Frankly, I doubt that It will be reported
shortly, under the very best of circwnstances.
Frankly, I know, as far as the
House Judiciary Committee is concerned,
no action will be taken this year, any
more than was taken in previous years.
So what we are going to do if we do
not face up to this issue on this basis, not
only for this year but perhaps for years
to come, Is forgo the possibility of a constitutional
amendment which will put
into effeCt what every Member of this
body desires, at least as far as I am
Mr. AIKEN. Mr. President, will the
Mr. MANSFIELD. I yield.
Mr. AlKEN. I wonder if perhaps the
Senator feels that if the amendment is
defeated today the defeat will be taken
as the sentiment of this body, and perhaps
the constitutional amendment proposal
wlll never come out of the Judiciary
Committee at all, since the Interpretation
will be that the Senate has
already voted against it, and so why
Mr. MANSFIELD. That Is correct. It is
a good burial grow1d for certain types of
legislation, and I do not think we ought
to try to blink away the facts.
What we have now is the first chance
and the only chance that I can recall, on
a national scale, tor this Institution to
face up to this Issue squarely.
This amendment would extend the
right to vote to every citizen of the
United States who Is 18 years old and
older. It would afford that right In every
election, Federal, State, or local.
Much has been said lately about extending
the franchise by statute. It Is
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 45, Folder 75, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
83502 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE March 11, 1970
argued by those that oppose this method
that Congress does not have the power
to act; only the Supreme Court ca.n make
those fine constitutional distinctions.
The Supreme Court is the final arbiter
of these questions, but it Is about time
that Congress assumed its responsib111t1es
In an effort to determine the limits·
of Congress' constitutional authority,
I sent a telegram to Prof. Paul Freund,
probably the best constitutional lawyer
in this country. In addition, I looked up
the testimony of the former Solicitor
General of the United States, Archibald
Cox, talked to other people, and have
received information which, to my way
of thlnld.ng, 118 e. nonlawyer, validates
the procedure which we are following
and does insure a possible way by means
of which the 18-yee.r-olds and above can
achieve the right to vote.
At 18, 19, and 20, young people are in
the forefront of the political processworking,
listening, talking, participating.
They are barred from voting.
I do not think they do enough talking.
I do not think they do enough 1nflltre.
ting into the established political
parties. I think tnoae af us above the age
of 30 could stand a Uttle educating from
these youngsters-not the minuscule minority
that always gets the publlcity, but
the conscientious, idealistic majority of
young men and. women who could bring
our parties some new blood, some new
vigor, aome new ideas. Both parties could
stand a pretty strong transfusion.
Mr. HOLLAND. Mr. President, wUl the
Mr. MANSFIELD. If I may finish, first.
I am on a tight schedule here.
TheY will not only bring us a fresh
outlook, but will bring ws their innovation,
and will do what they can through
acts of participation, to become a part
of the whole, rather than on the outside,
as is the case at the present tlme.
They fight our wars. You can brush
aside that argument all you want, but
that is a most important argument, and
I think these youngsters who are called
because of our responsibility, because we
have laid down the policy, should have
a right, at least in some small part, to
influence -the setting of that policy.
They are eligible to be treated 118 adults
in the courts, in both civil and criminal
actions. They marry at 18. They have
children. They pay taxes. The hold
down full-time Jobs.
So I would hope that the Senate would
approve the ballot for the 18-year-olds
at this time, in this fashion, and on this,
the voting measure to which it is germane.
As a political forecaster, I possess
no extraordinary capacities. But I am
aware of the public reports by some in
opposition to the extension of voting
rights-by any method-to 18-year-olds.
I know that some who have spoken out
are in a position to thwart the efforts of
the congressional proponents of this proposal.
So this amendment on this bill
will be, in my opinion, the only chance
the Congress will have of enacting this
proposal. Either it becomes law on this
bill, or it is dead for this Congress.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's
time has expired.
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I ask
unanimous consent to have printed in
the RECORD with my remarks a letter
which I received from Prof. Paul A.
Freund of Stanford University under
date of March 5, 1970.
There being no objection, the letter
was ordered to be printed in the RECORD,
CENTER J'OR ADVANCED STUDY IN
THE BEHAVIORAL SciENCES,
Stanford, Calif., March 5, 1970.
Hon. MicHAEL J. MANSJ'IELD,
DEAR SENATOR MANSFIELD: I greatly ap•
preclate your telegram Inviting me to elabore.
te on the opinion which I expressed In
an a.ddress In June 1968, that Congress might,
by statute, lower the voting age tor state
and Federal elections to the age of eighteen.
The COnstitution of 1787 left the question
ot suffrage basically to the several states. In
Article I, section 2, It Is provided that the
el.ectors In each state for the House of Representatives
"shaJJ have the quallt!catlons
requisite tor electors of the most numerous
branch of the state legislature." Article I,
section 4, provides that the times, piaces and
manner or holding elections !or Senators and
Representatives shall be prescribed In each
state. Congress Is given the power by Jaw
to make or alter such regulations. My opinIon
does not at all rest on the last clause
Although "manner" has been given a generous
construction to Include, tor example,
Federal corrupt practices Jaws applicable to
national elections, the specific provl.alon on
"quallficatlons" In the ee.rller section would
rule out any effort to absorb the requirement
or a minimum age tor voting Into the
"manner" of holding such elections. And so
If the text of 1787 stood alone there would
appear to be no basis for the legislative
But that original text does not stand alone.
The Fourteenth Amendment, with Its
guare.ntee of equal protection of the laws (no
Jess than the Fifteenth, prohibiting specifically
disqualifications based ·on race or
color) Introduced a vital gloss on the authority
of the states, namely that unreasonable
classifications by Jaw are unacceptable.
This general standard applles to the Jaws of
sultrage no less than to other Jaws, despite
the fact that racial dlsqua!l.ftcatlons are
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