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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.

上次我们谈到了费城制宪大会的代表们终于就总统的职能和产生达成了共识。

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.

经过几个星期的激烈辩论后,代表们决定,总统由州议会指定的选举人推举产生,总统对立法拥有否决权,如果犯下严重罪行,也可以被弹劾。

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.

当时,“总统”这一称谓尚未出现,是我们为了叙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.

制宪大会讨论的另外一个重要问题是建立一个国家司法体系,即联邦法院和法官系统。

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?

与会代表里有34名律师,八名法官,所以这个议题对他们来说并不陌生。但问题是,美国各州已经有了自己的法院和法官,有必要设置联邦法院吗?

(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.

有些代表认为答案是否定的。来自康涅狄克州的罗杰·谢尔曼认为,现有的州法院系统已经足够了,建立联邦法院系统耗资太大。

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

南卡罗来纳州的约翰·拉特利奇反对建立下级联邦法院系统,但主张建立联邦最高法院。

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.

制宪大会最后投票决定,建立一个联邦最高法院,同时也建立一个下级联邦法院系统,负责受理涉及联邦法律、公民权利,以及外国人在美国犯罪的案件。

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

业已存在的州法院体系继续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.

接下来是任命联邦大法官的问题。有些代表认为,大法官应该由国会指定,另外一些代表却认为,大法官应该由总统任命。

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.

宾夕法尼亚州的詹姆斯·威尔逊主张,大法官的人选应该由一人决定,因为经验证明,集体决策很难公开、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.

南卡罗来纳州的约翰·拉特利奇极力反对。他认为,把大法官的任命权交给总统跟交给国王没什么两样。

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·富兰克林讲了一个很好笑的故事。他说,在苏格兰,法官是由律师任命的,他们总是挑选最出色的律师去当法官,然后再把他原来的客户瓜分掉。

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.

与会代表最后投票决定,先建立一个最高法院,司法系统的具体细节留待国会和总统去完成。

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.

国会可以决定最高法院大法官的人数,然后由总统任命。国会还可以建立下级法院,法官也由总统任命。

(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年的整个夏天,费城制宪大会的代表们都在围绕维吉尼亚代表提出的政府规划方案进行讨论。不过,这份方案并不是唯一的,新泽西州的代表也带来了自己的想法。

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.

制宪大会进行到一个月的时候,新泽西州代表威廉·佩特森在大会上提出了新泽西州的方案。

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,这份方案跟维吉尼亚的方案大相径庭。维吉尼亚的方案主张建立一个联邦政府,立法、行政和司法三权分立,权力高于州政府。新泽西州的计划也主张建立一个联邦政府,但是每个州继续保持独立于联邦的权力。

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.

新泽西州的方案建议对《邦联条例》进行修改,但并没有提出一个全新的政治体制。

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.

根据新泽西州的方案,联邦设立一院制的立法机构,每个州,不论大小,均拥有一票。

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.

联邦政府由多人领导,权力来自各州,而不是人民,而且不设下级联邦法院。

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.

新泽西州方案的支持者指出,费城大会的目的是修改《邦联条例》,与会代表无权彻底废除《邦联条例》。

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.

其中一人说,如果《邦联条例》全盘错误的话,那我们就回家去,让州议会授予我们谈判的权力,但是我们不能自行其事。

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.

这时候,宾夕法尼亚州的代表詹姆斯·威尔逊说话了。他指出,费城大会代表们的任务不是就某件事情达成最终协议,但是可以畅所欲言,围绕任何问题进行讨论。

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?

威尔逊还对与会代表的代表性提出了质疑。他反问道,“有时候,我们会错误地认为,自己朋友的意见就是民意,难道不是吗?”

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,某些代表坚信民众绝对不会接受一个联邦政府,绝对不愿意放弃各州的权力。

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?"

威尔逊追问说,“联邦政府为什么肯定不受欢迎呢?是因为缺少信誉?还是因为民众享受的自由和受到的保护会缩水?作为美国公民,难道不如作为某个州的公民受到的尊重多吗?”

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.

下面一个发言的是维吉尼亚州州长埃德蒙·伦道夫。他说,费城大会除了建立一个联邦政府,别无选择。如果不采取必要措施,挽救共和体制,就是叛国,只有一个全新的联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."

伦道夫说,“眼前是建立一个联邦政府的最后时刻,错过这个机会,人民就会彻底丧失希望。”

(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号星期六,与会代表围绕新泽西州的提案进行了讨论。接下来的星期一,他们又听取了纽约州代表亚历山大·汉密尔顿的提议。

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

那一天,一贯沉默寡言的汉密尔顿滔滔不绝地谈论了五个小时。

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,自己的提议不是正式提案,而是对维吉尼亚方案的修正。

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.

汉密尔顿认为,美国应该只有一位领导人,由选举人推选产生,终身制,他有权否决立法,而且他的否决不能被推翻。

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.

汉密尔顿继续说,国会应该由参众两院组成, 参议员跟总统一样,也由选举人推选产生,终身制;众议员由人民直选产生,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,汉密尔顿主张,各州应该放弃很多现有的权力。州长由联邦政府任命,各州不得保留自己的武装部队。

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.

汉密尔顿坚信,随着美国的成长,现行政府体制是行不通的。他认为,美国应该照搬英国的体制,他称英国的体制是世界上最棒的。

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.

汉密尔顿讲话期间,没有人打断他,也没有人提问。历史学家说,这种情况令人惊讶,因为汉密尔顿的主张非常极端,他对英国政府的公开支持也极不受欢迎,费城大会没有任何人接受他的主张。

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

但是当时一则天气炎热,二则汉密尔顿的讲话太长,于是会议代表们同意暂时休会,改天再议。

(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.unsv.com. Our story of the Constitution continues next week on THE MAKING OF A NATION in VOA Special English.

网友的学习评论(5条):
作者:流樱豪
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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