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美国迎来首位黑人女性大法官,这意味着什么?

A Transformative Justice Whose Impact May Be Limited
美国迎来首位黑人女性大法官,这意味着什么?

WASHINGTON — Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman confirmed to the Supreme Court, will in one sense transform it. Once she replaces Justice Stephen G. Breyer, one of the 108 white men who preceded her, the court will look a lot more like the nation it serves.

华盛顿——作为首位得到最高法院任命的黑人女性,凯坦吉·布朗·杰克逊法官将在某种意义上变革最高法院。当她取代斯蒂芬·G·布雷耶——在她之前的108位白人男性大法官之一——最高法院将会更适应其所服务的国家今日的状态。

There will, for the first time, be four women on the court. Also for the first time, there will be two Black justices. And a Latina.

这将是最高法院史上第一次有四位女性在席。也是它第一次拥有两位黑人大法官。还有一位拉美裔女性。
 

凯坦吉·布朗·杰克逊法官预计要到今年6、7月份才能正式进入最高法院。

But that new tableau on the court’s grand mahogany bench will mask a simple truth: The new justice will do nothing to alter the basic dynamic on a court dominated by six Republican appointees.

然而,庄严的最高法院红木座席上的全新构成将掩盖一个简单的事实,即新任大法官并不会改变最高法院仍被六名共和党任命者主导的本质。

However collegial she may be, whatever her reputation as a “consensus builder” and whether her voting record will be slightly to the right or the left of Justice Breyer’s, the court’s lopsided conservative majority will remain in charge. Judge Jackson will most likely find herself, as Justice Breyer has, in dissent in the court’s major cases on highly charged social questions.

无论她有多么优秀的团队精神,无论她作为“共识缔造者”的名声如何,也无论她的投票记录相对于布雷耶大法官是偏右还是偏左,最高法院依然是压倒性的保守派多数说了算。杰克逊法官很可能会发现自己和布雷耶大法官一样,在涉及高度敏感社会问题的重大案件中,成为最高法院里的异议者。

Indeed, in an institution that prizes seniority, the court’s three-member liberal wing is apt to lose power.

事实上,在资历为先的最高法院,三位自由派大法官很容易就会失去话语权。

The viciousness of the fight over Judge Jackson’s confirmation was, then, wholly at odds with what was at stake in the actual work of the court, at least in the short term.

因此,至少在短期内,关于任命杰克逊法官的激烈斗争与最高法院利害攸关的实际工作是完全相冲突的。

Justice Breyer will stay on the court through the end of the current term, in late June or early July. He has lately been on the losing side in rulings refusing to block a Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks and shutting down Biden administration programs meant to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

布雷耶大法官将在最高法院任职到6月底或7月初,也就是当前庭期的结束。最近,在最高法院拒绝驳回得克萨斯州一项禁止大多数怀孕六周后堕胎的法律,以及叫停拜登政府新冠防疫计划的裁决上,他都处于失败的一方。

By summer, Justice Breyer will probably write or join dissents from majority opinions undermining or eliminating the right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade, expanding Second Amendment protections for carrying guns in public and limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to address climate change.

到夏天,布雷耶大法官可能会撰写或附和异议意见的主要案件包括削弱或废除“罗诉韦德案”中确立的堕胎权利,扩大第二修正案对公共场合持枪的保护,以及限制环境保护局应对气候变化的能力。

There is no reason to think that Judge Jackson will have any more ability to halt the court’s rightward march in the marquee cases the court will hear after the justices return from their summer break and she takes the bench.

没有理由认为,杰克逊法官更有能力阻止最高法院在重大案件中的右倾,等大法官们的夏日假期结束,她也正式上任之时,最高法院将着手审理这些案件。

To the contrary, she said at her confirmation hearing that she planned to recuse herself from one of next term’s blockbusters, a challenge to Harvard’s race-conscious admissions program, given her service on one of the university’s governing boards.

恰恰相反,她在提名确认听证会上表示,由于曾在哈佛大学管理委员会任职,她准备回避下个庭期的重头案件之一,即对哈佛大学带有种族色彩的招生项目的法律挑战。

But she is not expected to disqualify herself from a companion case, about the admissions program at the University of North Carolina, which presents somewhat broader questions and will now become the main attraction.

不过,预计她不会在另一桩同类案件上回避,该案涉及北卡罗来纳大学的招生项目,该案反映了一些更广泛的问题,眼下最受关注。

There is no direct evidence from Judge Jackson’s judicial record about how she is likely to approach the case. But her supporters and opponents alike are confident that she will vote to uphold programs in which colleges and universities take account of race as one factor among many in admissions decisions.

鉴于杰克逊法官的司法纪录,没有直接证据表明她可能会如何判断此案。但她的支持者和反对者都相信,她会投票支持让高校在招生决定中把种族作为考量因素之一的项目。

The court’s more conservative members, on the other hand, appear to be ready to say that the Constitution and a federal law forbid such programs. That would represent a sharp break from more than four decades of precedents.

另一方面,最高法院更具保守倾向的大法官应该会声称,宪法和联邦法律都禁止此类项目存在。这将与四十多年来的判决先例南辕北辙。

As recently as 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that the University of Texas at Austin could continue to consider race as a factor in ensuring a diverse student body.

就在2016年,最高法院裁定,得克萨斯大学奥斯汀分校可以继续将种族作为确保学生群体多元化的一个考量因素。

In an interview not long after the Texas case was decided, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, mistakenly as it would turn out, that the decision would be the last word on the subject. “I don’t expect that we’re going to see another affirmative action case,” she said, “at least in education.”

在该案判决后不久的一次采访中,鲁思·巴德尔·金斯伯格大法官表示这一判决结果将是对该议题的盖棺定论,事实证明她的判断是错误的。“至少在教育领域,”她当时说,“我不认为还会有下一桩平权案件出现。”

Justice Ginsburg died in 2020, and she was replaced by the third of President Donald J. Trump’s three appointees, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, creating a conservative supermajority on a court that had for decades been closely divided.

金斯伯格大法官于2020年去世,她的位置被特朗普总统任命的第三位大法官艾米·科尼·巴雷特取代,此举让保守派在数十年来势均力敌的最高法院中成为了绝对多数。

The Texas ruling essentially reaffirmed Grutter v. Bollinger, a 2003 decision that endorsed holistic admissions programs. Writing for the majority, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said she expected that “25 years from now,” the “use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.”

得州大学一案的裁决实际上重申了2003年“格鲁特尔诉博林杰案”的结果,即最高法院支持全人考量的招生。桑德拉·戴·奥康纳大法官在主要意见书中写道,她预计“在25年后”,高校招生的“种族优待将不再必要”。

If the court strikes down the admissions programs at Harvard and U.N.C. in the spring or summer of 2023, as seems likely, it will beat Justice O’Connor’s deadline by five years.

如果到2023年春夏,最高法院否决了哈佛大学和北卡罗来纳大学招生项目,那就比奥康纳大法官设想的期限还早了五年。

Judge Jackson will also participate in the latest clash between claims of religious freedom and gay rights, this time in a case about a web designer who objects to providing services for same-sex weddings. The court considered a similar dispute in 2018 in a case about a Colorado baker, but Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s muddled and limited majority opinion did not resolve the basic issue.

杰克逊法官还将参与宗教自由与同性恋权利的主张冲突,事关一位网页设计师拒绝为同性婚礼提供服务的案件。2018年,最高法院曾在科罗拉多州烘焙师一案中审理过类似纠纷,但安东尼·M·肯尼迪大法官模糊而局限的主要意见并未解决根本问题。

Justice Kennedy retired later that year, and he was replaced by the more conservative Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. The court, which has been exceptionally receptive to cases brought by religious groups and individuals, is likely to issue a ruling favoring the web designer.

肯尼迪在当年晚些时候退休,接替他的是更为保守的布雷特·M·卡瓦诺大法官。一向特别乐于受理宗教团体和个人诉讼的最高法院可能会做出有利于网页设计师的裁决。

Judge Jackson has no judicial track record in this area, either, but it would be a surprise if she joined the court’s conservatives.

虽然杰克逊法官在这一领域也没有司法纪录,但她若附和保守派立场将是出人意料的结果。

In the third major case already on the court’s docket for its next term, the justices will consider the role race may play in drawing voting maps. The court may have tipped its hand in February, when it temporarily reinstated an Alabama congressional map that a lower court had said diluted the power of Black voters, suggesting that the court was poised to become more skeptical of challenges to maps based on claims of race discrimination.

至于已被最高法院列入下个庭期日程的第三桩重头案件,大法官们将要考量种族对选举地图划分可能发挥的作用。今年2月,最高法院可能已经亮明态度,暂时恢复了阿拉巴马州一份曾被下级法院裁定为削弱黑人选民影响力的国会选区地图,这表明,最高法院准备对基于种族歧视指控的选举地图诉讼持更加怀疑的态度。

The court will hear an appeal in the same case soon after Judge Jackson arrives. But the court’s order in February indicated that there may already be five votes to continue one of the signature projects of the court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., that of limiting the force of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

等杰克逊法官上任后,最高法院也将对该案的上诉进行审理。但最高法院在2月下达的判决表明,可能会有五票赞成继续执行首席大法官小约翰·G·罗伯茨领导的最高法院的标志性项目之一,即限制1965年《选举法案》的效力。

In earlier decisions, the Supreme Court effectively gutted Section 5 of the law, which had required federal approval of changes to state and local voting laws in parts of the country with a history of racial discrimination, and cut back on Section 2 of the law, limiting the ability of minority groups to challenge voting restrictions.

在此前的裁决中,最高法院基本上废除了该法案第五条的规定,即要求联邦政府在有种族歧视历史的部分地区批准修改州级和地方选举法;并削弱了该法案第二条,限制了少数群体挑战投票限制的能力。

The Alabama case also concerns Section 2, but in the context of redistricting. The court’s liberals were in dissent when the court issued its provisional order in February, and they are likely to be in the same position when the court rules on the merits of the case.

阿拉巴马州一案也涉及到该法案第二条,不过是在重划选区的语境下。最高法院在2月发布临时判决时,自由派大法官提出了不同意见,因此,等到最高法院对此案的是非曲直做出裁决,这些大法官的立场应该不会改变。

As the junior member of the court, Judge Jackson will have at least two distinct responsibilities. She will serve on a committee that oversees the court’s cafeteria, and she will answer the door at the justices’ private conferences when law clerks are summoned to deliver a forgotten item.

作为最高法院的资浅成员,杰克逊法官至少将承担两项不同职责。她还将担任监督最高法院食堂的委员会委员,并在大法官召开闭门会议时为奉命前来送还遗失物品的助理法官开门。

As for the real work of the court, justices say it can take quite some time to feel comfortable.

至于最高法院的实际工作,大法官们都声称,可能需要相当长的一段时间才能适应。

“I was frightened to death for the first three years,” Justice Breyer, who joined the court in 1994, said in a 2006 interview.

“头三年我都过得战战兢兢,”1994年进入最高法院的布雷耶大法官曾在2006年接受采访时表示。

Estimates have not changed over time. “So extraordinary an intellect as Brandeis said it took him four or five years to feel that he understood the jurisprudential problems of the court,” Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote of Justice Louis D. Brandeis, who sat on the court from 1916 to 1939.

这种情况并没有随着时间推移而改变。“才智那样非凡的布兰代斯都说过,他花了四五年时间才觉得自己弄明白了最高法院的法学问题,”费利克斯·弗兰克福特大法官曾这样描述路易斯·布兰代斯大法官,后者于1916至1939年在最高法院任职。

Judge Jackson is only 51, and she will probably serve for decades, gaining experience and stature. The court’s membership will change over those years — four of the justices she will join are 67 or older — and its direction may, too. That could make Judge Jackson not only a pathbreaking justice but also an influential and consequential one.

杰克逊法官才51岁,可能要在最高法院任职数十载,不断积累经验,提升地位。在未来的日子里,最高法院的构成将会发生变化——接下来与她共事的大法官里有四位年逾67岁——其大方向也可能改变。因此,杰克逊法官不仅有机会成为一位开创性的大法官,她还可能产生深远且重大的影响。
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