As in the case of due process of law, the requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment as to equal protection of the law receives specific incidental consideration, throughout this treatise. It is, therefore, not necessary here to do more than state the general meaning of the term.
Shortly stated, the requirement is not that all persons (including corporations) shall be treated exactly alike, but that where a distinction is made there shall be a reasonable ground therefor - one based on administrative or political necessity or convenience, or on economic needs. Thus in the exercise of the States' powers of taxation or of police, or of other powers, classifications of the persons or properties to be affected may be made. But, when such classifications are made, the laws must operate uniformly upon all the members of each class. This subject is elsewhere particularly discussed in connection with the law of inheritance taxes and special assessments.11
10 177 U. S. 66: 20 Sup. Ct. Rep. 545; 44 L. ed. 673.
11 See §§ 520 - 527