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A statute is presumptively inconsistent with the First Amendment if it imposes a financial burden on speakers because of the content of their speech. Leathers v. Medlock, 499 U.S. 439, 447 (1991). “[O]fficial scrutiny of the content of publications as the basis for imposing a tax is entirely incompatible with the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press.” Arkansas Writers' Project, Inc. v. Ragland, 481 U.S. 221, 230 (1987). This is a notion so engrained in our First Amendment jurisprudence as to not require explanation. Leathers, supra, at 447. It is but one manifestation of a far broader principle: “Regulations which permit the Government to discriminate on the basis of the content of the message cannot be tolerated under the First Amendment.” Regan v. Time, Inc., 468 U.S. 641, 648-649 (1984). See also Police Dept. of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92, 95 (1972).


In the context of financial regulation, it bears repeating that the government's ability to impose content-based burdens on speech raises the specter that the government may effectively drive certain ideas or viewpoints from the marketplace. 499 U.S., at 448-449. The First Amendment presumptively places this sort of discrimination ...

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