Airbnb loses First Amendment argument over strict Santa Monica home rental law

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected HomeAway and Airbnb’s First Amendment argument in upholding Santa Monica’s ordinance that bans home stays unless a resident is present. The ordinance also prohibits rentals of entire homes for less than 30 days. (San Francisco Chronicle, March 13, 2019, by Carolyn Said)

The rental companies argued that the town was curtailing  commercial speech protected by the First Amendment. The court ruled that since the conduct of booking transactions was “nonexpressive,” it was not protected speech. (The Recorder, March 13, 2019, by Ross Todde)

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