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新冠 地契与宪法

已有 4548 次阅读 2020-5-18 21:57 |个人分类:随想|系统分类:人文社科


    偶然打开The New York Sun(Times早就打不开了),看到一个多月前(4月15日)的一篇社论,The Governors' 'Mutiny',说几个州不经国会私下为重启经济缔约(entering into regional compacts to plan the reopening of their economies),这是宪法禁止的行为——若非最危险时刻,州府不得与人盟约:No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.(美国宪法第一章最后一段)。“宪法之父”James Madison对州与联邦政府的权利分配有过一段著名论述(见Federalist Papers, 45): 

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. 




Elliott Banfield的社论插图

    这个纠纷当然也牵涉同样的宪法问题,法官Stephen Field在判决意见中说: 

in case of threatened invasion of cholera, plague, or other causes of sickness and death, it would be the height of absurdity to hold that the threatened states could not unite in providing means to prevent and repel the invasion of the pestilence without obtaining the consent of Congress, which might not be at the time in session. 

这话现在看来特有现实意义。(对头形容Field法官的词儿很别致:one series of little-mindedness, meanlinesses, of braggadocio, pusillanimity, and contemptible vanity)。

    最高法院的判决意见是维持1803年的州界(Virginia v. Tennessee, 148 U.S. 503 (1893)): 

Our judgment therefore is that the boundary line established by the States of Virginia and Tennessee by the compact of 1803 is the true boundary between them, and that, on a proper application, based upon a showing that any marks for the identification of that line have been obliterated or have become indistinct, an order may be made at any time during the present term for the restoration of such marks without any change of the line. 

    具体的界线是,The boundary line ... marked upon the surface of the ground between the summit of White Top Mountain and the top of the Cumberland Mountains这话令我想起我们西周的一篇划界文(约厉王时期的散氏盘铭文): 




    夨州犯散州失败(都在渭水流域,大散关就是这个“散”),只好割地赔礼,铭文就是割地划界的契约。最后的誓言“余有爽變,爰千罰千”应作为俗语流传(變、爰二字的释读聚讼纷纭,不多说了)——大意说,若有欺瞒,愿加倍赔偿。可将原字样印在各类Agreement or Compact(卫报不用这些敏感名词,而说州长们agreed a framework上,显得我们的契约文化源远流长。





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2 武夷山 赵宇

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