Date Available


Year of Publication


Document Type



Communication and Information Studies



First Advisor

Richard Labunski


Long before our nation was created, European Countries acknowledged the importance of freespeech. Despite this, Great Britain later denied this right to the New England Colonies. Over thelast two centuries many battles have been fought to make freedom of speech an inalienable right tobe shared by all. A good portion of these battles have been fought in courtrooms. Judge andSupreme Court justices have dealt with issues ranging from what is a public figure to what isindecent speech. Many of these issues are not found in the original text of the Constitution. This hasforced the judges to devise tests to determine certain standards and to make discretionary choices.Today's public officials are dealing with issues that have never been dealt with before, such asInternet speech and cyberspace libel. The decisions rendered by the courts on these new issues willset a precedent for future generations. What kind of effect of this new territory, known ascyberspace, will have on the First Amendment is yet to be seen.