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What the Supreme Court got right in its hotel register ruling

What the Supreme Court got right in its hotel register ruling

In striking down a Los Angeles ordinance that requires hotel owners to turn over their registers to police at any time of the day or night, in the absence of a court order, the Supreme Court on Monday only indirectly protected the privacy of hotel guests. Under the 5-4 decision, owners — not guests — will be able to go to court to challenge a request for information about who is staying at a hotel or motel. But indirect protection is better than no protection at all, and the decision should have the additional salutary effect of preventing police from harassing the owners of motels where they think prostitution, drug trafficking and other crimes might be taking place. By not...

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