Judge Torres says the drafts of Hinman’s speech are judicial documents subject to a strong presumption of public access.
Ripple Labs, a Silicon Valley-based tech firm, recorded a major victory in its legal battle against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Yesterday, Judge Analisa Torres denied the SEC’s motion to seal the records of internal deliberations regarding a controversial speech on crypto assets by William Hinman, the former director of SEC’s Corporation Finance.
The court denied SEC’s motion to empty Hinman’s documents because they are judicial documents subject to a strong presumption of public access.
“The Hinman Speech Documents would reasonably have the tendency to influence [the Court’s] ruling on a motion,” an excerpt of the ruling read.
Legal Battle Regarding Hinman’s Document
For context, in December 2020, the SEC charged Ripple with offering unregistered securities via its XRP sales.
It is worth noting that a portion of the lawsuit has been focused on the documents tied to the 2018 controversial speech by Hinman, where he stated that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities. However, Hinman did not comment on XRP even though the coin was among the top three crypto assets in 2018.
Following the SEC lawsuit against Ripple, the blockchain company asked the commission to provide drafts of Hinman’s speech. Ripple was curious to know the opinions of SEC officials regarding XRP at the time Hinman gave the controversial speech.
The SEC made significant efforts to prevent it from surrendering the documents to Ripple. Interestingly, after 18 months and six court rulings, the SEC finally surrendered the documents.
Despite surrendering the document, the SEC still filed a motion to seal the drafts of Hinman’s speech on December 22, 2023. However, the court has denied the motion on the grounds that the drafts of Hinman’s controversial speech are judicial documents.
The development was shared by James K. Filan, a seasoned lawyer who has closely followed the SEC vs. Ripple lawsuit.
#XRPCommunity #XRP #SECGov v. #Ripple BREAKING: Judge Torres denies the SEC's Motion to Seal the Hinman documents.https://t.co/wiatz4vCHL
— James K. Filan 🇺🇸🇮🇪 (@FilanLaw) May 16, 2023
Ripple CEO Reacts
Meanwhile, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse took to Twitter to celebrate the win. Garlinghouse, who is also a defendant in the case, promised that Ripple would publicly share an unredacted version of Hinman’s documents soon.
Another win for transparency! Unredacted Hinman emails to be publicly available soon – stay tuned as the lawyers work through the mechanics to make that happen. https://t.co/o6puPypRHd https://t.co/qmaLVeQaP8
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) May 16, 2023
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