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第25修正案:罢免总统是可能的,但也很艰难

更新时间:2018-9-7 20:51:59 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The 25th Amendment: The Difficult Process to Remove a President
第25修正案:罢免总统是可能的,但也很艰难

The anonymous author of an Op-Ed article in The New York Times wrote this week that there were “early whispers” among President Trump’s advisers about trying to remove Mr. Trump from the presidency by invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, which provides a process to declare that the president is unfit for office.

《纽约时报》一篇观点文章的匿名作者于本周写道,在特朗普总统的顾问中间,“早有人悄悄谈起”援引宪法第25修正案的第四款,把特朗普赶下总统之位,该修正案提供了一种程序,可以宣布总统无法履行职务。

Such a move would be unprecedented, and the author of the essay writes that the discussions did not move forward because “no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis.”

这样的举动将是史无前例的,文章的作者写道,讨论没有向前推进,因为“没有人想引发宪法危机”。

The amendment, adopted by the states 51 years ago, provides a complex, difficult process for the removal of a sitting president. Here is a brief history of the 25th Amendment and an explanation of how it operates.

该修正案在51年前由各州通过,它为撤销现任总统提供了一个复杂而艰难的过程。以下是第25修正案的简要历史及其运作方式的解释。

What is the 25th Amendment?

什么是第25修正案?

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution is primarily designed to clarify the presidential order of succession.

宪法第25修正案主要是为了澄清总统的接替顺序。

The first section of the amendment explains what should happen if the president dies, resigns or is removed from office: The vice president becomes president immediately.

修正案的第一款解释了如果总统去世、辞职或被免职将会发生什么:副总统即刻成为总统。

The second section makes it clear that when there is “a vacancy in the office of vice president,” the president shall nominate a replacement, who will take office once he or she is confirmed by majorities in both houses of Congress.

第二款明确指出,当“副总统职位出现空缺”时,总统应提名一名替代者,一旦他或她被国会两院的多数人确认,就可以上任。

The third section allows the president to temporarily delegate his responsibilities to the vice president, who then operates as acting president until the president informs congressional leaders that he is able to resume his duties.

第三款允许总统暂时将其职责委托给副总统,副总统随后担任代总统,直到总统通知国会领导人他能够恢复职责。

The fourth section provides a multistep process for the vice president and a majority of the officials who lead executive agencies — commonly thought of as the cabinet — to declare that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That process ultimately requires a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress.

第四款为副总统和领导行政机构的大多数官员(通常被视为内阁)提供了一个有很多步骤的过程,可以宣布总统“无法履行其职务的权力和职责”。这一过程最终需要国会两院的三分之二投票通过。

How did the 25th Amendment come about?

第25修正案是如何产生的?

In the aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, there was some confusion about how to choose a new vice president after Lyndon B. Johnson became president. And there was concern about what might happen if Johnson fell ill or was incapacitated before his replacement was found. Congress formally proposed the 25th Amendment in the summer of 1965, and the amendment became part of the Constitution in February 1967, after 38 states ratified it. (Nine more states later ratified it. Three — Georgia, North Dakota and South Carolina — have never ratified it.)

1963年,约翰·F·肯尼迪(John F. Kennedy)遭到暗杀,在林登·B·约翰逊(Lyndon B. Johnson)担任总统后,就如何选择新的副总统出现了一些混乱。有人担心,如果约翰逊在找到替代者之前生病或丧失工作能力,可能会发生问题。国会在1965年夏天正式提出了第25修正案,经38个州批准后,于1967年2月成为宪法的一部分。(另有9个州后来批准了它。乔治亚、北达科他和南卡罗来纳这三个州从未批准过。)

Has it been used before?

以前它曾被使用过吗?

Since its adoption in 1967, the first three sections of the 25th Amendment have been used several times.

自1967年通过以来,第25修正案的前三款已多次使用。

The first and second sections were used in 1974, when Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency and was replaced by Gerald Ford, his vice president. Mr. Ford subsequently nominated Nelson Rockefeller to be vice president, and Mr. Rockefeller was confirmed by the House and the Senate.

第一款和第二款于1974年使用,当时理查德·M·尼克松(Richard M.Nixon)辞去总统职务,由副总统杰拉尔德·福特(Gerald Ford)取代。福特随后提名纳尔逊·洛克菲勒(Nelson Rockefeller)担任副总统,洛克菲勒得到了众议院和参议院的确认。

Section 3, which allows presidents to temporarily shift their powers and duties to the vice president, was used by Ronald Reagan in 1985 when he underwent a brief cancer surgery. President George W. Bush also invoked the 25th Amendment in 2002 when he underwent a brief medical procedure and transferred his duties to Vice President Dick Cheney for a few hours. Mr. Bush did the same thing again in 2007.

第三款允许总统暂时将其权力和职责转移给副总统,罗纳德·里根于1985年因癌症接受了一次简短的手术,期间曾经援引过它。乔治·W·布什总统在2002年也援引了第25修正案,当时他接受了短暂的医疗程序,将自己的职责移交给副总统迪克·切尼(Dick Cheney)数小时。布什在2007年又做了同样的事情。

The fourth section of the 25th Amendment — the one contemplated by the anonymous author of the essay in The Times — has never been used.

第25修正案的第四款——也就是时报文章的匿名作者所设想的那部分——从未被使用过。

How would it actually work, if invoked now?

如果现在援引它,它将如何发挥作用?

The first step would be for Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of the cabinet to provide a written declaration to the president pro tempore of the Senate (currently Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah) and the speaker of the House (currently Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin) that Mr. Trump “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That would immediately strip Mr. Trump of the powers of his office and make Mr. Pence the acting president.

第一步将是由副总统迈克·彭斯(Mike Pence)和大多数内阁成员向参议院临时议长(现为犹他州参议员奥林·G·哈奇[Orrin G. Hatch])和众议院议长(目前为威斯康辛州众议员保罗·D·瑞安[Paul D. Ryan])提供书面声明,称特朗普“无法履行其职务的权力和职责”。这将即刻剥夺特朗普的权力,并使彭斯成为代总统。

But the 25th Amendment would allow Mr. Trump to immediately send a written declaration of his own to Mr. Hatch and Mr. Ryan saying that he is in fact able to perform his duties. That would immediately allow him to resume his duties, unless Mr. Pence and the cabinet send another declaration to the congressional leaders within four days restating their concerns. Mr. Pence would take over again as acting president.

但是,第25修正案还允许特朗普立即向哈奇和瑞安发出自己的书面声明,称他实际上能够履行其职责。这将即刻让他恢复职责,除非彭斯和内阁在四天内向国会领导人发出另一份声明,重申他们的担忧。届时彭斯将再次担任代总统。

That declaration would require Congress to assemble within 48 hours and to vote within 21 days. If two-thirds of members of both the House and the Senate agreed that Mr. Trump was unable to continue as president, he would be stripped permanently of the position, and Mr. Pence would become president. If the vote in Congress fell short, Mr. Trump would resume his duties.

该声明将要求国会在48小时内集会,并在21天内投票。如果众议院和参议院三分之二的议员同意特朗普无法继续担任总统,那么他将被永久剥夺这一职位,彭斯将成为总统。如果国会的投票没有通过,特朗普将恢复其职责。

Would that ever happen?

这种事这会发生吗?

The authors of the 25th Amendment intended it to be a difficult process that would make it exceedingly rare. They succeeded.

第25修正案的作者意图把它设计为一个非常困难的过程,令这种事非常罕见。他们做到了。

To put it in context, it is even more difficult to remove a president under the 25th Amendment than it is under the impeachment process. A president can be impeached by a simple majority in the House and removed from office by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Removal under the 25th Amendment requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

在这个背景之下,根据第25修正案罢免总统比按弹劾程序罢免总统更加困难。只要有众议院的简单多数就可以弹劾总统,如果参议院以三分之二的票数通过,就可以将总统免职。根据第25修正案,罢免总统要求两院都以三分之二的票数通过。

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