Ripple wins in court after a judge dismisses the SEC's request to seal the Hinman documents

By: Mark Jessy

Ripple wins in court after a judge dismisses the SEC's request to seal the Hinman documents

May 17, 2023 6:58 AM

On May 16, United States District Judge Analisa Torres issued the order in favor of Ripple.

A plea by the US Securities and Exchange Commission to seal records of its internal deliberations following a speech by former director William Hinman has been denied, a move hailed as a victory for Ripple and the crypto community. 

The former Securities and Exchange Commission company finance division director claimed in a June 2018 speech that Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, is not a security. 

On December 22, the SEC filed a motion to seal the internal emails, text messages, and expert reports that followed Hinman's speech, stating→ that its purpose trumped the "public's right" to view materials that have "no relevance" to the court's summary judgment ruling, among other things.

However, U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres decided that the materials are "judicial documents" entitled to a strong presumption of public access. 


Source: United States District Court

She also said that the Hinman Speech Documents "would have a good chance of influencing the Court's decision on a motion." 


Judge Torres further stated that the court has rejected the SEC's contention that sealing the papers is required to maintain "openness and candor" inside the SEC, stating: 

"Since the Hinman Speech Documents do not pertain to a position, decision, or policy of the agency, they are not covered by the deliberative process privilege."

The court has determined that the Hinman Speech materials will be made public but has granted the SEC's other motions, which require that the names and identifying information of SEC experts and XRP investor declarants as well as the personal and financial information of the defendants be redacted. 

The court also refused Ripple's petitions to seal, including references to Ripple's income and the amount of compensation paid to trading platforms, among other things.

The lecture has been viewed as critical evidence in Ripple's current legal battle with the SEC, which contends that sales of Ripple's XRP violated US securities laws. 

The price of XRP increased by roughly 2.6% in response to the news. It is currently worth $0.43.