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使用Facebook是一项宪法权利吗?

更新时间:2017-2-28 18:49:31 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Constitutional Right to Facebook and Twitter? Supreme Court Weighs In
使用Facebook是一项宪法权利吗?

A Supreme Court argument on Monday about whether North Carolina may bar registered sex offenders from using Facebook, Twitter and similar services turned into a discussion of how thoroughly social media have transformed American civic discourse.

本周一,对于北卡罗来纳州是否可以禁止登记在册的性犯罪者使用Facebook、Twitter及其类似服务的问题,最高法院的辩论变成了一场关于社交媒体如何彻底改变美国公民对话的讨论。

The justices’ remarks, which indicated easy familiarity with the major social media services, suggested that they would strike down the North Carolina law under the First Amendment.

大法官们的评论显示他们对主要的社交媒体服务了如指掌,表明他们会根据《第一修正案》来推翻北卡罗来纳州的这项法律。

Justice Elena Kagan said that President Trump, every governor and every member of Congress has a Twitter account.

大法官埃琳娜·卡根(Elena Kagan)说,特朗普总统、每个州长和国会的每个议员都有Twitter帐户。

“So this has become a crucially important channel of political communication,” she said. “And a person couldn’t go onto those sites and find out what these members of our government are thinking or saying or doing.”

“因此,这已成为政治沟通非常重要的渠道,”她说。“一个人不能去那些网站,就不知道政府的这些成员在想什么,在说什么,在做什么。”

The North Carolina law makes it a crime for registered sex offenders to use many commercial websites that allow the exchange of information and do not limit their membership to adults.

北卡罗来纳州的那项法律规定,登记在册的性犯罪者使用用户可以交换信息、不限制未成年人加入的很多商业网站,都属于犯罪行为。

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said that social media sites had become, and in some ways had surpassed, the public square as a place for discussion and debate.

大法官安东尼·M·肯尼迪(Anthony M. Kennedy)说,作为讨论和辩论的地方,社交媒体网站已经成为了公共广场,并且在某种程度上超越了公共广场。

“The sites that Justice Kagan has described and their utility and the extent of their coverage are greater than the communication you could have ever had, even in the paradigm of public square,” Justice Kennedy said.

“卡根大法官所描述的网站,其效用和覆盖范围大于你可能拥有的所有通信工具,甚至是公共广场,”肯尼迪大法官说。

The North Carolina law has economic consequences, too, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said.

北卡罗来纳州法律也会造成经济上的影响,大法官索尼娅·索托马约尔(Sonia Sotomayor)说。

“Take something like LinkedIn, which many, many people in our society today are looking for jobs there, but high school students are permitted to look for jobs and to post their personal data on that site,” she said.

“像LinkedIn这样的平台,如今我们社会中有很多人都在那里寻找工作,而高中学生也有找工作的资格,可以在该网站上张贴自己的个人资料,”她说。

Justice Kennedy mused that any number of free-speech doctrines doomed the law.

肯尼迪大法官认为,不少言论自由方面的信条都可以推翻这项法律。

“Elizabeth Barrett Browning,” he said, before quoting the poet: “Let me count the ways.”

“伊丽莎白·巴雷特·勃朗宁(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)说,‘让我逐一细数。’”他引用她的诗句说。

Justice Stephen G. Breyer told Robert C. Montgomery, a lawyer for the state, that it could have drafted a much narrower law to protect children from sexual predators. Justice Breyer sketched out his analysis.

大法官史蒂芬·G·布雷耶(Stephen G. Breyer)对代表该州的律师罗伯特·C·蒙哥马利(Robert C. Montgomery)说,他们可以起草一个涵盖面比较窄的法律,保护儿童免遭性侵者的骚扰。布雷耶大法官进行了大致的分析。

“The state has a reason?” he asked. “Yeah, it does. Does it limit free speech? Dramatically. Are there other, less restrictive ways of doing it? We’re not sure, but we think probably, as you’ve mentioned some. O.K. End of case, right?”

“你们州有理由这么做吗?”他问道。“是的,有理由。这么做是否限制了言论自由?限制很严重。有没有限制比较少的其他做法?我们不确定,但我们觉得可能有,你已经提到了一些。好的,这个案子就了结了,对吧?”

The law was challenged by Lester Packingham, who had pleaded guilty in 2002 to taking indecent liberties with a minor when he was a 21-year-old college student. He received a suspended sentence and two years’ probation and was made to register as a sex offender.

这项法律受到了莱斯特·帕金汉姆(Lester Packingham)的挑战,此人在2002年认罪,承认自己21岁读大学期间对一名未成年人作出不适宜的举动。他被判两年缓刑,并被登记为性罪犯者。

Mr. Packingham came to the attention of the authorities in 2010, when he wrote on Facebook about having a traffic ticket dismissed. “God is good,” he wrote.

2010年,帕金汉姆在Facebook上谈到一张交通罚单被撤销的事情时,引起了当局的注意。“上帝真好啊,”他写道。

A North Carolina appeals court ruled that the law “arbitrarily burdens all registered sex offenders by preventing a wide range of communication and expressive activity unrelated to achieving its purported goal” of protecting minors.

北卡罗莱纳州的一家上诉法院裁定,该项法律“通过阻止广泛的、与其”保护未成年人“目标无关的沟通和表达活动,随意加重了所有登记在册的性犯罪者的负担”。

In a 4-to-2 ruling, the North Carolina Supreme Court reversed the appeals court’s decision, saying that Mr. Packingham’s Facebook post was not entitled to heightened First Amendment protection because it was conduct rather than speech.

在一个4票对2票的裁决中,北卡罗来纳最高法院推翻了上诉法院的裁决,称帕金汉姆的Facebook帖子不适用《第一修正案》的保护条款,因为它属于行为,而不是言论。

Mr. Montgomery did not defend that reasoning at Monday’s argument in the case, Packingham v. North Carolina, No. 15-1194. He argued instead that the state was entitled to limit Mr. Packingham’s speech.

本周一,蒙哥马利在编号为15-1194的“帕金汉姆对北卡罗来纳州”(Packham v.North Carolina)一案的辩论中没有为这个论证辩护,而是声称该州有权限制佩克汉姆的言论。

Some justices noted that criminal convictions can have lasting consequences. “Some states prohibit ex-felons from voting,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. “Some states and the federal government prohibit keeping and bearing arms. Those are constitutional rights.”

一些大法官指出,刑事定罪可以产生持久的后果。“一些州禁止犯过重罪的人投票,”大法官鲁思·巴德·金斯伯格(Ruth Bader Ginsburg)说。“一些州和联邦政府禁止这些人保留和携带武器。这些是宪法权利。”

David T. Goldberg, a lawyer for Mr. Packingham, said those restrictions had a basis in history and logic. They were nothing like “taking away people’s First Amendment rights,” he said.

帕金汉姆的律师戴维·T·戈德伯格(David T. Goldberg)说,这些限制有历史和逻辑的基础。它们不同于“剥夺人们的《第一修正案》权利”,他说。

Mr. Montgomery said the North Carolina law left sex offenders with plenty of other ways to exercise their First Amendment rights. “It’s not the entire internet that is being taken away from these offenders,” he said. “They can still have their own blog. They can read blogs. They can do podcasts. They can go to nytimes.com.”

蒙哥马利表示,根据北卡罗来纳州的法律,性犯罪者有很多其他方式来行使自己《第一修正案》权利。“这些罪犯并非完全不能使用互联网,”他说。“他们仍然可以有自己的博客。他们可以阅读博客。他们可以做播客。他们可以上《纽约时报》的网站。”

Four justices asked whether The New York Times’s website would in fact be covered by the law, and the argument concluded without a clear answer.

四位大法官询问这项法律是否涵盖了《纽约时报》的网站,不过这段辩论的答案并不清楚。

“Even if The New York Times is not included,” Justice Ginsburg said, “the point is that these people are being cut off from a very large part of the marketplace of ideas. And the First Amendment includes not only the right to speak, but the right to receive information.”

“包不包括《纽约时报》不是关键,”金斯伯格大法官说,“关键在于,该法律正在把这些人和主要的思想交流场所隔离开来。《第一修正案》不仅包括发言权,还包括接收信息的权利。”

Justice Kagan agreed. “Whether it’s political community, whether it’s religious community — I mean, these sites have become embedded in our culture as ways to communicate and ways to exercise our constitutional rights,” she said.

卡根法官同意这种说法。“无论是政治团体,还是宗教界,我的意思是,这些网站已经嵌入我们的文化,成为了一种沟通方式以及行使我们宪法权利的方式,”她说。

Justice Kagan added that the law had curious features. “Some of what’s exempted by the law seems, I have to say, some of the most dangerous stuff,” she said, mentioning exceptions for “any website that provides only a chat room or only photo sharing.”

卡根大法官说,该项法律有一些特点让人觉得奇怪。她说,“我得说,这项法律豁免的一些东西似乎是最危险的东西。”她提到该法律豁免了“只提供聊天室或只提供照片共享服务的网站”。

Mr. Montgomery said the state had tried to write the law narrowly and to address the danger of lurking predators quietly harvesting personal information about minors. But Justice Kagan said the distinctions it drew made no sense.

蒙哥马利说,该州尝试制定的是涵盖面狭窄的法律,想要解决潜在的猎艳者默默收集未成年人个人信息的危险问题。但是卡根法官说,该法律划分的区别根本讲不通。

“So you mean that there’s a constitutional right to use Snapchat, but not to use Twitter?” she asked.

“所以你的意思是说,使用Snapchat是宪法赋予的权利,使用Twitter不是?”她问道。

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