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International Harvester Co. v. Missouri, 234 U.S. 199 (1914)

International Harvester Company v. Missouri

No. 166

Argued April 29, 1914

Decided June 8, 1914

234 U.S. 199


Although the state appellate court may not have referred to the constitutional questions in its opinion, this Court cannot regard such silence as a condemnation of the time at, or manner in which, those questions were raised, and, if the record shows that they were raised in that court, this Court has jurisdiction.

The Fourteenth Amendment does not preclude the state from adopting a policy against all combinations of competing corporations and enforcing it even against combinations which have been induced by good intentions and from which benefit and not injury may have resulted.

The power of classification which may be exerted in the legislation of

Page 234 U. S. 200

states has a very broad range, and a classification is not invalid under the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment because of simple inequality. A state statute prohibiting combination is not unconstitutional as denying equal protection of the law because it embraces vendors of commodities and not vendors of labor and services. There is a reasonable basis for such a classification, and so held as to the Missouri antitrust laws of 1899 and 1909. Questions of policy are for the legislature, and not for this Court, to determine.

As classification must be accommodated to the problems of legislation,

it may depend upon degree of evil so long as it is not unreasonable or arbitrary.

237 Mo. 369 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality of the Missouri Anti-Trust Acts of 1899 and 1909, are stated in the opinion.

Page 234 U. S. 202

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