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紐時賞析/總統不應凌駕法律之上 川普國會暴亂豁免權案引大法官熱議

川普支持者穿著美國獨立戰爭時期風格的服飾,參加川普的造勢場合。(紐約時報)
川普支持者穿著美國獨立戰爭時期風格的服飾,參加川普的造勢場合。(紐約時報)

Will the Justices Hold Presidents to Account?

大法官熱議川普豁免權 200年前就有解

Did the American Revolution actually happen? If it did, was it a good thing?

美國獨立革命真的發生過嗎?若是真的,那是件好事嗎?

This is more or less what Justice Elena Kagan seemed to be wondering during the oral arguments in Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 immunity case at the Supreme Court on Thursday morning.

美國最高法院周四早上針對前總統川普1月6日國會暴亂豁免權案進行言詞辯論時,這似乎或多或少是大法官凱根所疑惑的問題。

“Wasn’t the whole point that the president was not a monarch and the president was not supposed to be above the law?” she asked.

她問:「重點不就是總統並非君主,且總統不應凌駕法律之上嗎?」

Like her, I had assumed those questions were answered decisively in the affirmative more than 200 years ago. But now, after almost three hours of circuitous debate and bizarre hypotheticals at the Supreme Court, I’m not so sure.

和凱根一樣,我也曾認為,這些問題200多年前就已斷然獲得肯定回答。但現在,經過最高法院近三小時迂迴的辯論和怪異的假設,我不太確定。

The right-wing justices seemed thoroughly uninterested in the case before them, which involves a violent insurrection that was led by a sitting president who is seeking to return to office in a matter of months. Instead, they spent the morning and early afternoon appearing to be more worried that prosecuting Trump could risk future malicious prosecutions of former presidents by their political rivals. And they tried to draw a distinction between official acts, for which a president might have immunity from prosecution, and private acts, for which no immunity would apply.

右派大法官似乎對面前這起案件非常不感興趣,該案涉及由一個現任總統所領導的暴力叛亂,此人正尋求數月內重返白宮。他們整個早上和下午稍早反倒是似乎更擔心,起訴川普的風險是未來前總統可能被政敵惡意起訴。他們試圖區分官方和私人行動,前者可能享有不被起訴的豁免權,後者不享有豁免權。

The upshot was that a majority of justices appeared prepared to send the case back down to the lower courts for further unnecessary litigation, which would almost certainly eliminate any chance of a trial being held before Election Day.

結果是大多數大法官似乎準備將案件發回下級法院,進一步進行不必要的訴訟,這幾乎確定消除審判在選舉日前舉行的任何機會。

So let’s remember how we got here. The case began last year with special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of the former president on charges of obstruction, fraud and conspiracy relating to his central role in the effort to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, which resulted in the deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol. This scheme was, by a long shot, the most egregious abuse of authority by any president in history.

所以,讓我們回想事情是如何走到這一步。這起案件始於去年,當時特別檢察官史密斯起訴這位前總統,指控他妨礙司法、詐欺,以及他在試圖推翻2020年大選敗選陰謀中的關鍵角色,這導致美國國會大廈發生致命攻擊。無論如何,這項計畫是美國史上任何一個總統最令人震驚的濫權行為。

In short, the justice system is doing its job by trying to hold to account a former president for subverting the last election before he runs in the next one. That is a very important job! And yet the right-wing justices are saying, essentially, not so fast — and maybe not at all.

總之,司法體系正盡其職責,試圖在一個前總統參加下次選舉前,追究他顛覆上次選舉的責任。這是非常重要的工作!然而,右派大法官基本上在說,不要這麼急,也許就別審了。

The federal Jan. 6 trial should have been underway for almost two months by this point. The lower courts, in opinions by judges appointed by both Republicans and Democrats, dispatched this appeal with ease. But the Supreme Court decided to take the case anyway, scheduling it for the final argument day of the term.

1月6日國會暴亂的聯邦審判,此時應該已進行快兩個月了。下級法院先前依據共和黨和民主黨任命的法官意見,毫不費力的駁回了上訴。但最高法院仍決定受理此案,並將其排在庭期的最後言詞辯論日。

文/Jesse Wegman 譯/羅方妤

說文解字看新聞

【張佑生】

台灣與美國的前總統和大法官,同時受到高度關注,台灣牽涉到是否特赦前總統。中華民國憲法第40條:總統依法行使大赦、特赦、減刑及復權之權。赦免的英文是pardon,分為免刑或免罪,態樣有general/special pardon。

跟赦免相對的字眼是豁免(immunity),不受刑事上之訴究,為不可數名詞,介係詞常用from:He was granted immunity from prosecution.駐外人員享有的豁免權稱為diplomatic immunity,從大使以降,按照級別,享受豁免權的範圍有所差異。Immunity當「免疫力」解釋時,介係詞通常用to:They have developed (an) immunity to the virus.

紐時質疑,美國革命改制共和已經200多年,早就沒有君王,為何大法官還要討論總統是否有絕對豁免權?川普煽動支持者去衝國會大廈搞破壞,意圖推翻大選結果,毀憲至此也能主張豁免權?作者不以為然,認為大法官受到意識形態左右,此間在廢死議題上也有類似的質疑。川普一旦過關,因國會暴動入獄者,期望獲得赦免(grant/give somebody a pardon)。

大法官 川普 最高法院 特赦 紐時賞析 美國

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