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弹劾是如何发挥作用的? – 译学馆
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弹劾是如何发挥作用的?

How does impeachment work? - Alex Gendler

对于大多数工作 被解雇是可以理解的
For most jobs, it’s understood that you can be fired
无论是因为作奸犯科 能力不足 还是表现不佳
whether for crime, incompetence, or just poor performance
但如果你的工作恰巧是国家或世界最有权力的职位呢?
But what if your job happens to be the most powerful position in the country or the world?
这时 弹劾就派上用场了
That’s where impeachment comes in.
弹劾与公司将一个人开除实际上是不同的
Impeachment isn’t the same as actually removing someone from office.
弹劾像是刑事法庭起诉书
Like an indictment in criminal court,
它只是启动审判的正式指控
it’s only the formal accusation that launches a trial,
审判的最终结果可能是被定罪 或无罪释放
which could end in conviction or acquittal.
弹劾起源于英国
Originating in the United Kingdom,
它允许国会通过投票使政府官员下台
impeachment allowed Parliament to vote for removing a government official from office
甚至都不需要国王同意
even without the king’s consent.
尽管这是一项对王权的重要限制
Although this was an important check on royal power,
但国王不能被弹劾
the king couldn’t be impeached
因为君主被视为一切政府权力的来源
because the monarch was considered the source of all government power.
但对于美利坚合众国的建立者们来说
But for the founders of the American Republic,
没有任何权力能凌驾于人民之上
there was no higher authority beyond the people themselves.
因此 在美国国会 弹劾是一项权力
And so impeachment was adopted in the United States as a power of Congress
适用于所有政府官员 包括总统
applying to any civil officers, up to and including the president.
虽然任何公众成员都可以要求弹劾
Although demands for impeachment can come from any members of the public,
但事实上只有众议院有权开启弹劾进程
only the House of Representatives has the power to actually initiate the process.
开启弹劾需要将事件提交给委员会审议
It begins by referring the matter to a committee,
委员会通常为议事规则委员会和司法内务委员会
usually the House Committee on Rules and the House Committee on the Judiciary.
这些委员会讨论指控 核实证据 给出建议
These committees review the accusations, examine the evidence, and issue a recommendation.
如果它们找到继续下去的充分理由
If they find sufficient grounds to proceed,
那么议会将对每项具体指控独立投票
the House holds a separate vote on each of the specific charges,
被称为弹劾条款
known as Articles of Impeachment.
如果一项或多项以简单多数通过
If one or more passes by a simple majority,
官员就会被弹劾 下一阶段将是庭审
the official is impeached and the stage is set for trial.
弹劾后的庭审目前在参议院举行
The actual trial that follows impeachment is held in the Senate.
议会中的部分成员(被称为管理人)进行起诉
Selected members of the House, known as managers, act as the prosecution,
被弹劾的官员及其律师陈述反对意见
while the impeached official and their lawyers present their defense.
参议院同时担当法官与陪审团的角色
The Senate acts as both judge and jury,
实施庭审 并在听完所有陈述后进行商议
conducting the trial and deliberating after hearing all the arguments.
如果总统或副总统被弹劾 庭审将由最高法院首席法官主持
If it’s the president or vice president being impeached, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides.
定罪需要三分之二的绝大多数人同意
A conviction requires a supermajority of two-thirds
定罪后就将自动免职
and results in automatic removal from power.
取决于最初的指控
Depending on the original charges,
弹劾也可以取消他们在未来担任公职的资格
it can also disqualify them from holding office in the future
使他们服从标准的刑事起诉
and open them to standard criminal prosecution.
那么什么会使一个人被弹劾呢?
So what exactly can get someone impeached?
这有一点复杂
That’s a bit more complicated.
不像在英国
Unlike in the United Kingdom,
在美国 弹劾要选出一个立法机关
impeachment in the U.S. pits an elected legislature
这个机关反对政府中民主选举出的成员
against other democratically elected members of government.
因此 为防止弹劾过程被用作政治武器
Therefore, to prevent the process from being used as a political weapon,
宪法规定 官员只有因为叛国 贿赂或其他大小犯罪才能被弹劾
the Constitution specifies that an official can only be impeached for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
那仍保留了一些解释的空间 更不用提政治了
That still leaves a lot of room for interpretation, not to mention politics
许多弹劾审判各有属于自己的党派
and many impeachment trials have split along partisan lines.
但这一过程普遍认为是为严重滥用权力而保留的
But the process is generally understood to be reserved for serious abuses of power.
第一位被弹劾的官员是田纳西州的参议员威廉·布朗特 他于1797年被弹劾
The first official to be impeached was Tennesse Senator William Blount in 1797
由于与英国密谋停止西班牙对路易斯安那州的殖民
for conspiring with Britain to cease the Spanish colony of Louisiana.
自那以后 议会开展了约60次对弹劾的调查
Since then, the House has launched impeachment investigations about 60 times,
但只有19次进入了真正的弹劾诉讼
but only 19 have led to actual impeachment proceedings.
8次以有罪并离职结束的案例都是对联邦法官的弹劾
The eight cases that ended in a conviction and removal from office were all federal judges.
对现任总统的弹劾更加罕见
And impeachment of a sitting president is even more rare.
安德鲁·约翰逊在1868年被弹劾
Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868
因其在没有与参议院商议的情况下 试图更换作战部长埃德温·斯坦顿
for attempting to replace Secretary of War Edwin Stanton without consulting the Senate.
一个多世纪后 比尔·克林顿被弹劾
Over a century later, Bill Clinton was impeached
因其在性骚扰审判中提供伪证
for making false statements under oath during a sexual harassment trial.
两人最终都因参议院投票时未达到弹劾所需的三分之二多数人而被判无罪
Both were ultimately acquitted when the Senate’s votes to convict fell short of the required two-thirds majority.
与大家普遍想法不同
And contrary to popular belief,
理查德·尼克松事实上没有因水门事件被弹劾
Richard Nixon was never actually impeached for the Watergate scandal.
他在弹劾发生之前辞职了 他知道自己肯定会被定罪
He resigned before it could happen knowing he would almost certainly be convicted.
理论上 美国政府已经设计好了阻止权力滥用的措施
Theoretically, the U.S. government is already designed to prevent abuses of power,
通过“制度平衡 任期限制 自由选举”系统来限制不同分支机构
limiting different branches through a system of checks and balances, term limits, and free elections.
但弹劾可以被视作在以上保障措施失效时的应急措施
But impeachment can be seen as an emergency brake for when these safeguards fail.

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在美国,如果要进行弹劾,有哪些要求呢?要经过哪些流程呢?关于美国历史上被弹劾的官员,又有哪些呢?

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