In all of today's excitement about the Court's opinions in Horne v. Dep't of Agriculture, No. 14-275, the "raisin takings" case which we posted about earlier, we almost lost sight of the other property rights decision issued by the Court, City of Los Angeles v. Patel, No.13-1175 (June 22, 2015).
The case did not present takings, land use, or eminent domain issues, but we've been following along with interest nonetheless, because at stake was the right of a Los Angeles hotel owner to require the police to obtain a warrant before he allowed inspection of the hotel's guest register. The Court's majority said yes, hotel owners really do need the opportunity to make the police get a warrant before the police can force the hotel to open up its records.
The opinion by Justice Sotomayor and joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan, didn't talk about property rights and the like, only about "privacy" and the usual search-and-seizure stuff. But as we've discussed before, they're all related (the Fourth Amendment recognizes our security in our "persons, houses, papers, and effects" -- you know, our property), and as this decision from the Eleventh Circuit reminded, the Fifth Amendment isn't the only arrow in your quiver when you are defending someone's property rights. See this case, from a New York state court for a similar vibe.
The Patel majority rejected the notion that the mere fact the hotel industry is "pervasively regulated" means that the business owners give up all their rights (are you listening, rent control and affordable housing?). Kinda like the raisin market, perhaps?
The Court also goes over the distinction between "facial" versus "as applied" challenges, a topic that should be of interest to land users.
More about the decision here.