Matthew Uhalde, a 19-year-old graduate student at Cornell University, is suing New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman because of claims that the 21-year-old legal drinking age “ostracized and excluded” him from his graduate student peers.
According to an article that Matthew wrote for Cornell’s paper, The Tab, he decided to sue AG Schneiderman because of a particular event he was rejected from:
I received an invitation to a grad student social at the Big Red Barn last week, only to be thrown out. The manager said it was a liability having me there, even if I didn’t drink. That was the impetus of all this.
The lawsuit states that, “Mr. Uhlade feels ostracized and excluded. The State’s minimum drinking age prevents him with associating with his classmates and peers. This is causing Mr. Uhalde to to experience emotional distress.”
So why is he suing the state of New York? Good question. Believe it or not, the legal drinking age is actually determined on a state-by-state basis. The reason that all states have chosen 21 as the minimum age is because of the National Minimum Legal Drinking Act, signed in 1984. A very non-chill bro named Senator Frank Lautenberg from New Jersey decided that it’d be a good idea to scare states into following his law or risk losing 10% of their federal highway construction budget.