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Grosjean v. American Press Co.

Significance, Court Strikes Down Tax As Unconstitutional Prior Restraint, Pro And Con: Taxing Newspapers


Alice Lee Grosjean, Supervisor of Public Accounts for the State of Louisiana


American Press Co.

Appellant's Claim

That a state law imposing an advertising sales tax on large-circulation newspapers violates the principle of freedom of the press.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

Charles J. Rivet and Gaston L. Porterie

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

Esmond Phelps and Elisha Hanson

Justices for the Court

Louis D. Brandeis, Pierce Butler, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Charles Evans Hughes, James Clark McReynolds, Owen Josephus Roberts, Harlan Fiske Stone, George Sutherland (writing for the Court), Willis Van Devanter

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

10 February 1936


The Supreme Court struck down the Louisiana tax.

Related Cases

  • Minneapolis Star and Tribune Company v. Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue, 460 U.S. 575 (1983).


Cornell. http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/.

Further Readings

  • Bollinger, Lee C. Images of a Free Press. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
  • Schwartz, Bernard. Freedom of the Press. New York, NY: Facts on File, 1992.
  • Warren, Robert Penn. All the King's Men. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace, 1946.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940