CourtSpeak: Grosjean v. American Press Co. Newspaper Tax Case (1936)

First Amendment Read more from
Chapter The Hughes Court (1930–41)

Justice George Sutherland (majority): “The tax here involved is bad not because it takes money from the pockets of the appellees. If that were all, a wholly different question would be presented. It is bad because, in the light of its history and of its present setting, it is seen to be a deliberate and calculated device in the guise of a tax to limit the circulation of information to which the public is entitled in virtue of the constitutional guaranties. A free press stands as one of the great interpreters between the government and the people. To allow it to be fettered is to fetter ourselves.”


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