U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


2014 Term

Oral Argument Date

March 03, 2015


Questions Presented

(1) Whether facial challenges to ordinances and statutes are permitted under the Fourth Amendment; and

(2) Whether a hotel has an expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment in a hotel guest registry where the guest-supplied information is mandated by law and an ordinance authorizes the police to inspect the registry, and if so, whether the ordinance is facially unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment unless it expressly provides for pre-compliance judicial review before the police can inspect the registry.

Case Updates

U.S. Supreme Court rejects warrantless, suspicionless searches of business records

June 22, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit's decision and struck down the Los Angeles ordinance allowing police to inspect hotel guest records at any time, without a warrant or any suspicion of a crime.

In its decision, the Court held that, while it may be difficult to show that a statute is unconstitutional in all its applications, there is no rule against courts facially invalidating a statute once such a showing is made. Second, relying in part on the Chamber’s brief, the Court explained that the exception to normal Fourth Amendment rules for “pervasively regulated” businesses is very narrow and that concluding that hotels are “pervasively regulated” in the absence of a cohesive regulatory scheme would allow this narrow exception to swallow the rule. Finally, the Court acknowledged that searches under Los Angeles’s ordinance were “administrative” searches, but held that businesses must have an opportunity to obtain neutral review by a judge or a magistrate before even an administrative search.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

January 23, 2015

In its brief in the Chamber asked the U.S. Supreme Court to address what Fourth Amendment standards protect hotel guest registries from warrantless random inspections by local police. The Chamber argued that, contrary to the holding of the district court, business records undoubtedly are “papers” protected by the Fourth Amendment. The brief explained that, while this protection applies regardless of whether businesses have a privacy interest in the records, businesses clearly have a proprietary interest in customer data as well. The brief also urged the Court to reject the Petitioner’s argument that hotels receive limited Fourth Amendment protections because they are “pervasively regulated” as that argument would expand a narrow doctrinal exception beyond recognition.

Jessica Ring Amunson, Jessie K. Liu, Lindsay C. Harrison, and Amir H. Ali of Jenner & Block LLP represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as co-counsel to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center in this case.

Cert. petition filed on 3/24/2014. Cert granted 10/20/2014. U.S. Chamber amicus brief filed 1/30/2015. Argued 3/3/2015. Decided 6/22/2015.

Case Documents