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South Dakota v. Dole Viewing Guide

Access our Homework Help video on the Supreme Court case of South Dakota v. Dole (1987) and use our viewing guide below to follow along!

Overview : Why is there a national drinking age? This Homework Help video explores the dispute between states and the federal government over the legal age, and how it is an example of the principle of federalism in action.

  1. What was the National Minimum Drinking Age Act?
  2. What was the fundamental constitutional question at hand in this case?
  3. What was South Dakota’s minimum age to consume beer prior to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act?
  4. Define the principle of federalism in your own words.
  5. What level of government is granted the power to regulate alcohol through the Twenty-First Amendment?
  6. Who did the Supreme Court rule in favor of?
  7. Summarize the Supreme Court’s majority opinion.
  8. Summarize the Supreme Court’s dissenting opinions.
  9. Which opinion do you agree with more? Why?