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法院裁定:族裔可继续成为美大学招生考虑因素

更新时间:2016-6-25 7:58:15 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Supreme Court Upholds Affirmative Action Program at University of Texas
法院裁定:族裔可继续成为美大学招生考虑因素

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to a race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas at Austin, handing supporters of affirmative action a major victory.

华盛顿——本周四,得克萨斯大学奥斯汀分校(University of Texas at Austin)一个具有种族意识的招生计划遭受的挑战被最高法院驳回,平权行动的支持者们获得了重大胜利。

The decision, Fisher v. University of Texas, No. 14-981, concerned an unusual program and contained a warning to other universities that not all affirmative action programs will pass constitutional muster. But the ruling’s basic message was that admissions officials may continue to consider race as one factor among many in ensuring a diverse student body.

该案件是费希尔诉得克萨斯大学案(Fisher v. University of Texas),第14-981号,法院的裁决涉及一个不同寻常的招生计划,同时也向其他大学发出了一个警告:并不是所有的平权行动计划都符合宪法规定。但这个裁决的基本信息是,招生官员可以继续把族裔作为一个考虑因素,和其他很多因素一起来确保学生的多元化。

The decision, by a 4-3 vote, was unexpected. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the author of the majority opinion, has long been skeptical of race-sensitive programs and had never before voted to uphold an affirmative action plan. He dissented in the last major affirmative action case.

该裁决以4比3票数通过,让人感到意外。主要意见书作者、大法官安东尼·M·肯尼迪(Anthony M. Kennedy)一贯对种族敏感的项目持怀疑态度,之前从来没有在投票中支持过平权行动计划。在上一次的重大平权行动案例中,他属于异议方。

Supporters of affirmative action hailed the decision as a landmark.

这个裁决引起了平权行动支持者的欢呼,称其为一个里程碑。

“No decision since Brown v. Board of Education has been as important as Fisher will prove to be in the long history of racial inclusion and educational diversity,” said Laurence H. Tribe, a law professor at Harvard, referring to the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision striking down segregated public schools.

“在种族包容和教育多样性的历史长河中,事实将会证明,自从布朗诉教育局(Brown v. Board of Education)以来,还没有出现过费希尔这样重要的案件,”哈佛大学法学教授劳伦斯·H·特赖布(Laurence H. Tribe)说。在他所说的布朗案中,最高法院于1954年裁决废除公立学校的种族隔离制度。

Roger Clegg, the president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, which supports colorblind policies, said the decision, though disappointing, was only a temporary setback.

机会均等中心(Center for Equal Opportunity)的主席罗杰·克莱格(Roger Clegg)支持不分肤色的政策,他说,这一裁决虽然令人失望,但挫折只是暂时的。

“The court’s decision leaves plenty of room for future challenges to racial preference policies at other schools,” he said. “The struggle goes on.”

“法院的判决留下了足够的空间,以后还可以对其他学校的种族优惠政策提出挑战,”他说。“这场斗争将继续下去。”

President Barack Obama hailed the decision. “I’m pleased that the Supreme Court upheld the basic notion that diversity is an important value in our society,” he told reporters at the White House. “We are not a country that guarantees equal outcomes, but we do strive to provide an equal shot to everybody.”

奥巴马总统对这个裁决予以了称赞。“我很高兴,最高法院维持了基本原则,即多元化是我们社会的重要价值,”他在白宫告诉记者。“我们国家不会保证结果平等,但我们努力为所有人提供一个平等的机会。”

Kennedy, writing for the majority, said courts must give universities substantial but not total leeway in designing their admissions programs.

肯尼迪代表多数意见方写道,对于大学的招生计划安排,法院必须给大学留出很大的,但不是百分之百的余地。

“A university is in large part defined by those intangible ‘qualities which are incapable of objective measurement but which make for greatness,'” Kennedy wrote, quoting from a landmark desegregation case. “Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission.”

“从很大程度上说,大学是由一些‘虽不能客观测量但能使人高尚的那些品质’决定的,”肯尼迪写道,他引用了一个具有里程碑意义的废除种族隔离案例。“诸如学生多元构成这样的无形特征,是大学自身身份和教育使命的核心,我们理应对定义了这些特征的大学致以敬意。”

“But still,” Kennedy added, “it remains an enduring challenge to our nation’s education system to reconcile the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity.”

“尽管如此,”肯尼迪说,“要在多元的追求和宪法对平等待遇和尊严的承诺之间达成一致,仍然是我国教育体系面临的一个长期挑战。”

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined Kennedy’s majority opinion. Justice Elena Kagan, who would most likely have voted with the majority, was recused from the case because she had worked on it as solicitor general.

大法官鲁思·巴德尔·金斯伯格(Ruth Bader Ginsburg)、史蒂芬·G·布雷耶(Stephen G. Breyer)、索尼娅·索托马约尔(Sonia Sotomayor)与肯尼迪意见相似。大法官埃琳娜·卡根(Elena Kagan)很有可能也属于这一方,不过她曾作为副司法部长参与过此案,因此需回避。

In a lengthy and impassioned dissent delivered from the bench, a sign of deep disagreement, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. denounced the court’s ruling, saying that the university had not demonstrated the need for race-based admissions and that the Texas program benefited advantaged students over impoverished ones.

由大法官小塞缪尔·A·阿利托(Samuel A. Alito Jr.)执笔的不同意见书篇幅很长,且措辞激烈,表明双方存在严重分歧,意见书谴责了最高法院的这个裁决,称该大学没有展示出他们有依据种族来招生的需要,而且相对于贫困学生,条件好的学生更能从这个招生计划中受益。

“This is affirmative action gone berserk,” Alito told his colleagues, adding that what they had done in the case was misguided and “is simply wrong.”

“这是平权行动的忘乎所以,”阿利托对同事们说。他称他们在受误导的情况下做出了“完全错误”的裁决

Under the University of Texas’ admissions program, most applicants from within the state are admitted under a part of the program that guarantees admission to top students in every high school in the state. This is often called the Top 10 Percent program, though the percentage cutoff can vary by year.

根据的克萨斯大学的招生计划,对本州大部分申请者都施行“前10%的计划”,以保证该州每所高中的拔尖学生能被录取。虽然称为前10%,但每年的百分比可能有所不同。

The Top 10 Percent program has produced significant racial and ethnic diversity. In 2011, for instance, 26 percent of freshmen who enrolled under the program were Hispanic, and 6 percent were black. The population of Texas is about 38 percent Hispanic and 12 percent black.

前10%计划带来了明显的族裔多样性。例如在2011年,根据该计划招收的新生中有26%是西语裔美国人,6%是黑人。在得克萨斯的总人口中,约38%的西语裔,12%是黑人。

The case challenged a second part of the admissions program. Under it, remaining students from Texas and elsewhere are considered under standards that take into account academic achievement and other factors, including race and ethnicity. Many colleges and universities base all of their admissions decisions on such holistic grounds.

案件挑战的是该招生计划的另外一部分。按照相关规定,来自得州和其他地方的其余学生,就需要依据标准,将学习成绩以及包括族裔在内的其他因素考虑在内。很多高校所有的录取决定都是根据这种整体性依据做出的。

Thursday’s case was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white woman who said the university had denied her admission based on her race. She has since graduated from Louisiana State University.

周四被驳回的案件是由白人女子阿比盖尔·费希尔(Abigail Fisher)提起的。她说得克萨斯大学奥斯汀分校因为种族原因拒绝录取她。目前,她已从路易斯安那州立大学(Louisiana State University)毕业。

“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has ruled that students applying to the University of Texas can be treated differently because of their race or ethnicity,” Fisher said in a statement Thursday. “I hope that the nation will one day move beyond affirmative action.”

“对于最高法院判定可以因种族或民族而对申请得克萨斯大学的学生区别对待,我深感失望,”费希尔在周四发表的一份声明中说。“我希望有一天,我国能够跨越平权行动。”

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