Repeal the Uniform Drinking Age Act - Commentary Magazine

Confronted by the failure of the 18 minimum drinking age, the President Commission on Drunk Driving recommended establishing a national 21 minimum drinking age. President Reagan agreed and on July 17, 1984, he signed into law the Uniform Drinking Age Act mandating all states to adopt 21 as the legal drinking age within five years. By 1988, all states had set 21 as the minimum drinking age.

Summary of H.R.4892 - 98th Congress (1983-1984): Uniform Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984

We should do it because the Uniform Drinking Age Act violates the principles of federalism. There is no constitutional justification for the federal government to regulate the age at which someone should be legally permitted to consume alcohol. We knew this when we passed Prohibition. It’s why it took a constitutional amendment to enact. The 21st Amendment returned authority over the regulation of alcohol to the states, and that’s where it should have remained. The precedent set by NFIB v. Sebelius, wherein it was ruled unconstitutional for the federal government to withhold funding for states that refused to expand their Medicaid rolls, should be applied to the UDAA. The law demands a fresh challenge.


Uniform Drinking Age Act of 1984 - Overlawyered

So Reynolds advocates Congress repealing the law, called the Federal Uniform Drinking Age Act. He writes:

We should do it because the Uniform Drinking Age Act violates the principles of federalism. There is no constitutional justification for the federal government to regulate the age at which someone should be legally permitted to consume alcohol. We knew this when we passed Prohibition. It’s why it took a constitutional amendment to enact. The 21st Amendment returned authority over the regulation of alcohol to the states, and that’s where it should have remained. The precedent set by NFIB v. Sebelius, wherein it was ruled unconstitutional for the federal government to withhold funding for states that refused to expand their Medicaid rolls, should be applied to the UDAA. The law demands a fresh challenge.