Supreme Court to hear case about privacy of hotel guest information

A Los Angeles ordinance requires hotel and motel operators to collect information from their guests — including the guest's name and address, number of people in the party, arrival and departure dates, room number, vehicle information, and more — and authorizes law enforcement to inspect this information without a warrant. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the ordinance was unconstitutional because it authorized what amounted to an administrative search without a procedure to challenge the search beforehand.

Although the challengers to the ordinance are L.A. motel owners and so the privacy rights of the guests themselves are not technically before the Court, the case will have implications for what information federal, state, and local governments can effectively require that travelers reveal and how easily law enforcement can access that information.

SCOTUSblog has coverage of today's decision to hear the case, City of Los Angeles v. Patel.

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