Supreme Court strikes down law allowing police to inspect hotel registries without warrant

Industries Associated Press

The Supreme Court has struck down a Los Angeles ordinance that allowed police to inspect hotel guest records on demand.

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The justices voted 5-4 Monday to reject the city's argument that the measure was needed to help fight prostitution, drug trafficking and illegal gambling at budget hotels and motels.

Los Angeles said that people engaging in those activities are less likely to use hotels if they know the facilities must collect guest information and turn it over at a moment's notice.

But Justice Sonia Sotomayor said for the court that the law is unconstitutional because it penalizes the hotel owners if they don't comply.