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#20: Debating the Need for Federal Courts

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ANNOUNCER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English. In May of seventeen eighty-seven, a group of America's early leaders met in Philadelphia. Over a period of four months, they worked on a document that would establish a system of government and guarantee the rights of citizens. Today, Gordon Gaippe and Richard Rael continue the story of the Constitution.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Last week, we told how the convention reached agreement on a national executive. Delegates spent several weeks debating details of the position and powers.

上次我們談到了費城制憲大會的代表們終于就總統的職能和產生達成了共識。

The delegates decided the executive would be chosen by electors named by state legislatures. They decided he could veto laws. And they decided he could be removed from office if found guilty of serious crimes.

經過幾個星期的激烈辯論后,代表們決定,總統由州議會指定的選舉人推舉產生,總統對立法擁有否決權,如果犯下嚴重罪行,也可以被彈劾。

The delegates did not call the executive 'president'. That name for America's leader would be used later. However, we will use it now to make our story easier to understand.

當時,“總統”這一稱謂尚未出現,是我們為了敘述上的方便而采用的。

The first session of the Supreme Court began in February 1790. It would take 145 years for the court to find a permanent building.
The first session of the Supreme Court began in February 1790. It would take 145 years for the court to find a permanent building.

VOICE ONE:

Another major issue debated by the convention was a national judiciary: a federal system of courts and judges.

制憲大會討論的另外一個重要問題是建立一個國家司法體系,即聯邦法院和法官系統。

The delegates knew a lot about the issue. Thirty-four of them were lawyers. Eight were judges in their home states. One question hung heavy in the air. The states had their own system of courts and judges. Did the national government need them, too?

與會代表里有34名律師,八名法官,所以這個議題對他們來說并不陌生。但問題是,美國各州已經有了自己的法院和法官,有必要設置聯邦法院嗎?

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Several delegates said no. Roger Sherman of Connecticut said existing state courts were enough. In addition, he said, a system of national courts would be too costly.

有些代表認為答案是否定的。來自康涅狄克州的羅杰·謝爾曼認為,現有的州法院系統已經足夠了,建立聯邦法院系統耗資太大。

John Rutledge of South Carolina opposed a national system of lower courts. But he argued for a national Supreme Court.

南卡羅來納州的約翰·拉特利奇反對建立下級聯邦法院系統,但主張建立聯邦最高法院。

The convention voted for both. There would be one Supreme Court and a system of lower courts. These national courts would hear cases involving national laws, the rights of American citizens, and wrong-doing by foreign citizens in the United States.

制憲大會最后投票決定,建立一個聯邦最高法院,同時也建立一個下級聯邦法院系統,負責受理涉及聯邦法律、公民權利,以及外國人在美國犯罪的案件。

The system of state courts would continue to hear cases involving state laws.

業已存在的州法院體系繼續受理涉及州法律的案子。

VOICE ONE:

James Wilson, a Pennsylvania delegate to the convention in Philadelphia
James Wilson, a Pennsylvania delegate to the convention in Philadelphia

The next question concerned the appointment of national judges. Some delegates believed judges should be appointed by the national legislature. Others believed they should be appointed by the president.

接下來是任命聯邦大法官的問題。有些代表認為,大法官應該由國會指定,另外一些代表卻認為,大法官應該由總統任命。

James Wilson of Pennsylvania argued in support of having one person name judges. He said experience showed that large bodies could not make appointments fairly or openly.

賓夕法尼亞州的詹姆斯·威爾遜主張,大法官的人選應該由一人決定,因為經驗證明,集體決策很難公開、公平。

John Rutledge disagreed strongly. By no means, he said, should the president appoint judges. He said that method looked too much like monarchy.

南卡羅來納州的約翰·拉特利奇極力反對。他認為,把大法官的任命權交給總統跟交給國王沒什么兩樣。

Benjamin Franklin then told a funny little story. In Scotland, Franklin said, he understood that judges were appointed by lawyers. They always chose the very best lawyer to be a judge. Then they divided his business among themselves.

本杰明·富蘭克林講了一個很好笑的故事。他說,在蘇格蘭,法官是由律師任命的,他們總是挑選最出色的律師去當法官,然后再把他原來的客戶瓜分掉。

VOICE TWO:

The delegates voted on the issue. They agreed only to create a Supreme Court. Details of the system were left to the national legislature and the president.

與會代表最后投票決定,先建立一個最高法院,司法系統的具體細節留待國會和總統去完成。

The legislature could decide how many judges would sit on the Supreme Court. The president would appoint the judges. The legislature could establish lower courts from time to time. The president would appoint those judges, too.

國會可以決定最高法院大法官的人數,然后由總統任命。國會還可以建立下級法院,法官也由總統任命。

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

Throughout the summer of seventeen eighty-seven, the Philadelphia convention based its debates on a plan of government offered by delegates from Virginia. But the Virginia Plan was not the only one offered. Another plan came from New Jersey.

1787年的整個夏天,費城制憲大會的代表們都在圍繞維吉尼亞代表提出的政府規劃方案進行討論。不過,這份方案并不是唯一的,新澤西州的代表也帶來了自己的想法。

William Paterson, a New Jersey delegate
William Paterson, a New Jersey delegate

New Jersey delegate William Paterson presented the plan about a month after the convention began. The other delegates saw immediately that it was directly opposed to the Virginia Plan.

制憲大會進行到一個月的時候,新澤西州代表威廉·佩特森在大會上提出了新澤西州的方案。

The Virginia Plan talked of a national government. Under it, a national legislature, executive and judiciary would have supreme power over the states. The New Jersey Plan talked about a federal government. Under it, each state would keep its own independent powers over the union of states.

大家一眼就看出,這份方案跟維吉尼亞的方案大相徑庭。維吉尼亞的方案主張建立一個聯邦政府,立法、行政和司法三權分立,權力高于州政府。新澤西州的計劃也主張建立一個聯邦政府,但是每個州繼續保持獨立于聯邦的權力。

VOICE TWO:

The New Jersey Plan proposed some changes in the existing Articles of Confederation. It did not propose a completely new system of government.

新澤西州的方案建議對《邦聯條例》進行修改,但并沒有提出一個全新的政治體制。

Under the New Jersey Plan, the federal government would have a legislature with just one house. Each state would have one vote in the legislature. Big states and little states would be equal.

根據新澤西州的方案,聯邦設立一院制的立法機構,每個州,不論大小,均擁有一票。

The federal government would have an executive of more than one person. It would not have a system of lower federal courts. And its powers would come from the states...not the people.

聯邦政府由多人領導,權力來自各州,而不是人民,而且不設下級聯邦法院。

VOICE ONE:

Supporters of the New Jersey Plan then talked about the true purpose of the Philadelphia convention. They said the states had sent delegates to discuss changes in the Articles of Confederation. The delegates, they said, did not have the right to throw the Articles away.

新澤西州方案的支持者指出,費城大會的目的是修改《邦聯條例》,與會代表無權徹底廢除《邦聯條例》。

If the Union under the Articles is radically wrong, one said, let us return to our states. Let our states give us more powers to negotiate. Let us not take these powers upon ourselves.

其中一人說,如果《邦聯條例》全盤錯誤的話,那我們就回家去,讓州議會授予我們談判的權力,但是我們不能自行其事。

VOICE TWO:

Then James Wilson of Pennsylvania spoke. He explained his own idea about the purpose of the convention. Its instructions, he said, were to reach final agreement on nothing. But it could propose and discuss anything.

這時候,賓夕法尼亞州的代表詹姆斯·威爾遜說話了。他指出,費城大會代表們的任務不是就某件事情達成最終協議,但是可以暢所欲言,圍繞任何問題進行討論。

Wilson also questioned the delegates' right to speak for the people. Is it not true, he said, that the opinions of one's friends are commonly mistaken for the opinions of the general population?

威爾遜還對與會代表的代表性提出了質疑。他反問道,“有時候,我們會錯誤地認為,自己朋友的意見就是民意,難道不是嗎?”

He noted that some delegates firmly believed the people would never accept a national government. They would never give up their state's rights.

他指出,某些代表堅信民眾絕對不會接受一個聯邦政府,絕對不愿意放棄各州的權力。

Wilson was not so sure. "Why should a national government be unpopular?" he asked. "Has it less honor? Will each citizen enjoy under it less liberty or protection? Will a citizen of one state be respected less by becoming a citizen of the United States?"

威爾遜追問說,“聯邦政府為什么肯定不受歡迎呢?是因為缺少信譽?還是因為民眾享受的自由和受到的保護會縮水?作為美國公民,難道不如作為某個州的公民受到的尊重多嗎?”

VOICE ONE:

Edmund Randolph of Virginia spoke next. He said the convention had no choice but to establish a national government. It would be an act of treason not to do what was necessary to save the republic. And, he said, only a new, national government would work.

下面一個發言的是維吉尼亞州州長埃德蒙·倫道夫。他說,費城大會除了建立一個聯邦政府,別無選擇。如果不采取必要措施,挽救共和體制,就是叛國,只有一個全新的聯邦政府才能挽救共和。

"The present moment is the last moment for establishing a national government," Randolph said. "After this experiment, the people will lose all hope."

倫道夫說,“眼前是建立一個聯邦政府的最后時刻,錯過這個機會,人民就會徹底喪失希望?!?/p>

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Alexander Hamilton, a New York delegate
Alexander Hamilton, a New York delegate

Debate on the New Jersey Plan took place on Saturday, June sixteenth. The following Monday, they heard yet another plan of government. It was offered by the delegate from New York, Alexander Hamilton.

6月16號星期六,與會代表圍繞新澤西州的提案進行了討論。接下來的星期一,他們又聽取了紐約州代表亞歷山大·漢密爾頓的提議。

Hamilton had said little at the convention. On this day, he spoke for five hours.

那一天,一貫沉默寡言的漢密爾頓滔滔不絕地談論了五個小時。

Hamilton said he did not offer his ideas as an official proposal. But he said they could be considered amendments to the Virginia Plan. Then he read the details.

他表示,自己的提議不是正式提案,而是對維吉尼亞方案的修正。

VOICE ONE:

I would like to see in America, Hamilton said, one executive. He would be chosen by electors. He could veto any law, and his veto could not be over-turned. He would serve for life.

漢密爾頓認為,美國應該只有一位領導人,由選舉人推選產生,終身制,他有權否決立法,而且他的否決不能被推翻。

Next, he said, the national legislature would have two houses. The upper house would be called the senate. The lower house would be called the assembly. Like the chief executive, senators would be chosen by electors for life. Members of the assembly would be elected directly by the people for a term of three years.

漢密爾頓繼續說,國會應該由參眾兩院組成, 參議員跟總統一樣,也由選舉人推選產生,終身制;眾議員由人民直選產生,任期三年。

Then Hamilton spoke about the states. Under his plan, the states would lose many of their existing rights and powers. State governors would be appointed by the national government. And states no longer could have their own military forces.

在州的建制上,漢密爾頓主張,各州應該放棄很多現有的權力。州長由聯邦政府任命,各州不得保留自己的武裝部隊。

Hamilton was sure America's existing form of government would not work when the country got bigger. He believed America should follow the British form of government. He called it the best in the world.

漢密爾頓堅信,隨著美國的成長,現行政府體制是行不通的。他認為,美國應該照搬英國的體制,他稱英國的體制是世界上最棒的。

VOICE TWO:

No one stopped Hamilton during his long speech to argue or ask questions. Historians say this is surprising. Hamilton's ideas were extreme. His public support for the British government was unpopular. His statements were unacceptable to everyone at the convention.

漢密爾頓講話期間,沒有人打斷他,也沒有人提問。歷史學家說,這種情況令人驚訝,因為漢密爾頓的主張非常極端,他對英國政府的公開支持也極不受歡迎,費城大會沒有任何人接受他的主張。

But the weather had been hot. The speech had been long. The delegates agreed to end their business for another day.

但是當時一則天氣炎熱,二則漢密爾頓的講話太長,于是會議代表們同意暫時休會,改天再議。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER: Our program was written by Christine Johnson. The narrators were Gordon Gaippe and Richard Rael. For transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our American history series, go to www.666321.live. Our story of the Constitution continues next week on THE MAKING OF A NATION in VOA Special English.

網友的學習評論(5條):
作者:流櫻豪
The weather had been hot.I don't like.
作者:xuding45
Federal courts were talked in many delegates,some people thought it should be set up and others thought state disgreed。
作者:jackie-liu
i like this part that anyone of convention can propose and discuss anything . that is reflect the right of liberty
作者:fly
Freedom to speak anythings and propose any plans in convention. That is the right of liberty which not a sign of all people in a house show their hand high.
作者:hliu
A lawyer can steal what one hundred gun men make.From Hamilton's usual silence and a sunden long talking, I can tell he is a guy who has his own ideas, has his own system, he refuse to talk sometimes because his disagreement and his pride, he is waiting for a point where he can pitch in and throws his thoughts shockingly. he is pretentious.
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