EFF files brief regarding ‘facial challenge’ with U.S. Supreme Court

February 3, 2015

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday disputing a Los Angeles city ordinance that requires hotel owners to give guest registers to police, without a warrant or other legal process.

Hotels cannot challenge the requests in court, and if they refuse to honor them, they could be jailed or fined. Although an appellate court determined the ordinance violated the Fourth Amendment, a separate dissenting opinion defended its legality.

In addition, that dissent contended that hotel owners were barred from challenging the law unless the government attempts to use it against the owners themselves.

The EFF's brief questioned whether hotel owners can bring up a “facial” challenge that says the law is unconstitutional as written.

The organization called the limitation on facial challenges “illogical” and said it “violates fundamental constitutional principles.”

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