100% of the time, when a right or freedom is taken away, this is the rationale. 100% of the time. Select any world dictator and look up his/her speeches, and there will be some fear-mongering followed by an appeal to "safety." Or just look up a horrible policy in a supposed "free democracy," like the "Patriot" Act in the U.S., and you'll see the same thing.There is, of course, a sphere within which the individual may assert the supremacy of his own will and rightfully dispute the authority of any human government, especially of any free government existing under a written constitution. But it is equally true that in every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.2(p29)
Such cases diluted the reasons that justified restrictions on personal liberty. The Court did not always say that danger meant an immediate threat to the public at large, and it accepted a broader range of means as reasonable.
You see, these pro-vax-assault people who get all gleeful when citing Jacobson don't get that their own rights may one day be in danger, too.The Court then faced the problem of deciding how constitutional provisions limited government action. The Bill of Rights describes individual rights in broad terms, such as freedom of speech and due process of law. In a democracy that has no official religion or ideology, any interpretation of such abstract concepts could be attacked as merely the justices’ personal philosophy.67 Yet, if they upheld all laws that are purported to serve the common good, such as involuntary sterilization, government power would be unlimited—the definition of tyranny