Body Politic (and Corporate) – a body of Citizens and the public corporation that governs them under a social compact by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by laws for the common good

body politic:
1. A group of people regarded in a political (rather than private) sense and organized under a common governmental authority. [1]
1. A term applied to a corporation, which is usually designated as a “body corporate and politic.”  The term is particularly appropriate to a public corporation invested with powers and duties of government.  It is often used, in a rather loose way, to designate the state or nation or sovereign power, or the government of a county or municipality, without distinctly connoting any express and individual corporate character.  Munn v. Illinois, 94 U. S. 124, 24 L. Ed. 77; Coyle v. Mclntire, 7 Houst. (Del.) 44, 30 Atl. 728, 40 Am. St. Itep. 109; Warner v. Beers, 23 Wend. (N. Y.) 122; People v. Morris, 13 Wend. (N. Y.) 334[2]
1. All of the citizens who make up a governmental unit, such as a school district, village, township, town, borough, city, county, state, or country. [3]
1. A social compact by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by laws for the common good.  Munn v Illinois, 94 US 113, 124, 24 L Ed 77, 84. [4]

 

body politic and corporate:

1. The government of certain political subdivisions, including towns, cities, and counties.  See body corporate; body politic.  See also municipal corporation. [3]

1. A term often applied to a municipal corporation.  A county is such a body.  Waterbury v Board of Comrs. 10 Mont 515, 26 P 1002. [4]

References:

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[1] Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Black’s Law Dictionary Second Edition Online, “BODY POLITIC”:  https://thelawdictionary.org/body-politic/

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

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