In a new piece published today in the Sacramento Bee, Ron Fein provides analysis on the upcoming case Los Angeles v. Patel.

A case before the Supreme Court about hotel guest registers and the Fourth Amendment has gained the attention of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other corporate heavy hitters, who believe the protection of the Fourth Amendment should extend to all business records. The case involves a Los Angeles ordinance that makes hotels keep detailed guests registers, and make those registers available to the Police department at any time.

But the hotel operators say this ordinance violates the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Some in the corporate world are framing the case the wrong way by claiming the law violates the Fourth Amendment rights of the businesses—not those of hotel guests.

The Supreme Court might make a big mistake in making the right ruling for the wrong reason. Our friends at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have more information on case here.

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