corporations have neither bodies to be punished nor souls to be damned

A large organization, unlike a private individual, can act unjustly or highhandedly without fear of being brought to account.

1658 E. BULSTRODE Reports II. 233 The opinion of Manwood, chief Baron [c 1580], was this, as touching Corporations, that they were invisible, immortall, and that they had no soule; and therefore no Subpœna lieth against them, because they have no Conscience nor soule.

c 1820 J. POYNDER Literary Extracts (1844) 1.268 Lord Chancellor Thurlow said [c 1775] that the corporations have neither bodies to be punished nor souls to be damned.

a 1845 S. SMITH in S. Holland Memoir (1855) I. xi. Why, you never expected justice from a company, did you? They have neither a soul to lose, nor a body to kick.

1932 ERNST & LINDEY Hold your Tongue xii. A corporation is just like any natural person, except that it has no pants to kick or soul to damn, and, by God, it ought to have both.


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