Opinion by Scalia opposes broad view of police power

New York Times:

Justice Scalia, however, said, ”There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.”

Mr. Reagan appointed Justice O’Connor in 1981, and elevated Mr. Rehnquist from Associate Justice to Chief Justice last summer, at the same time he appointed Justice Scalia.

Justice Scalia’s majority opinion today said that although the search for weapons was lawful – a shot had just been fired through the floor of the apartment, injuring a man below – the police were not justified in moving the stereo components even slightly to check the serial numbers without ”probable cause” to believe they were stolen.

He thus affirmed a ruling by an Arizona appellate court that the stereo components, which turned out to have been stolen in an armed robbery, could not be used as evidence against the occupant of the apartment.

My emphasis.