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In Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U. S. 233 (1936), the State of Louisiana imposed a license tax of 2% of the gross receipts from the sale of advertising on all newspapers with a weekly circulation above 20,000. Out of at least 124 publishers in the State, only 13 were subject to the tax. After noting that the tax was 'single in kind' and that keying the tax to circulation curtailed the flow of information, id. at 297 U. S. 250-251, the Court held the tax invalid as an abridgment of the freedom of the press. Both the brief and the argument of the publishers in this Court emphasized the events leading up to the tax and the contemporary political climate in Louisiana. All but one of the large papers subject to the tax had 'ganged up' on Senator Huey Long, and a circular distributed by Long and the Governor to each member of the state legislature described 'lying newspapers' as conducting 'a vicious campaign' and the tax as 'a tax on lying, 2 cent [sic] a lie.' Id. at 9. Although the Court's opinion did not describe this history, it stated '[the tax] is ...

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