Katzenbach V. Morgan and the 18 Year Old Vote

Recently the 91st Congress passed the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1970. The provisions of the statute include Title III which extended the right of suffrage to eighteen year old citizens in all federal, state, and local elections. The basis for enacting Title III was the belief of Congress that citizens between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, by being denied the right to vote, were being denied equal protection of the laws as required by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The purpose of this note is to briefly trace the historical development of Congress’ power to enforce the Equal Protection Clause and from this basis to examine the constitutionality of Title III.