The judge who heard the SEC’s request to seal the Hinman documents ruled in Ripple’s favour
On May 16th, Ripple won a ruling from U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.
After a speech by former director William Hinman, the United States securities regulator sought to have documents of its internal discussions sealed. This request was refused, which was hailed as a victory for Ripple and the cryptocurrency industry.
The native token of the Ethereum blockchain, Ether, was declared not to be a security by the former director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s corporate finance section in a speech given in June 2018.
The SEC submitted a request on December 22 to seal internal emails, texts, and expert reports that followed Hinman’s speech among other things, that the “public’s right” to view these materials was outweighed by the importance of the SEC’s mission and the fact that they carried “no relevance” to the court’s summary judgement ruling.
U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres decided that the records are “judicial documents” and so subject to a high presumption of public access.
As for the SEC’s claim that sealing the records is required to maintain “openness and candour” inside the SEC, Judge Torres noted the court has rejected that argument as well.
Since the Hinman Speech Documents do not pertain to a viewpoint, decision, or policy of the agency, they are not covered by the deliberative process privilege.
In addition, the court did not grant Ripple’s requests to seal some documents, including those that discussed the amount of compensation paid to trade platforms and references associating Ripple’s earnings with the selling of XRP.
In its continuing legal fight with the SEC, which claims that Ripple’s XRP sales violated U.S. securities laws, Ripple has pointed to the lecture as a major piece of evidence. The announcement caused a 2.6% increase in the price of XRP. The price as of right now is $0.43.