The rule of clear and present danger originated in 1919 in an attempt by Mr. Justice Holmes to formulate a principle for the limitation of liberty with a conscious, intelligent weighing of the opposed societal interests. In the Schenck case, the societal and individual interest in freedom of expression clashed with the societal interest in defense of the state. In conflicts of this kind the criterion has had its most frequent application. The societal interest in preservation of the state was adequately protected by application of the test in prosecutions arising under the Espionage Act of 1917, although Mr. Justice Holmes and Mr. Justice Brandeis remarked that the principle was disregarded, or destroyed in its application, by the majority.
Chester J. Antieau,
THE RULE OF CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER: SCOPE OF ITS APPLICABILITY,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol48/iss6/9