- Judge Torres denies the SEC’s Motion to seal the Hinman Documents.
- With Judge Torres’ decision, Ripple Labs has won, according to the cryptocurrency community.
- The Hinman documents contain 63 emails and 52 speech drafts by former SEC Director William H. Hinman.
On May 16, Judge Torres denied the SEC‘s Motion to seal the Hinman documents. In the 18-page ruling, Judge Torres stated that the Hinman documents are “judicial documents” and subject to a strong presumption of public access. Judge Torres also disagreed with the SEC’s further justifications for sealing the documents.
The Hinman Documents] are judicial documents subject to a strong presumption of public access because they are “relevant to the performance of the judicial function and useful in the judicial process.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse rejoiced on Twitter. “Another win for transparency!” tweeted Garlinghouse. He shared that the unedited versions of the Hinman emails will be made publicly available in the near future. Meanwhile, replies to his tweet were filled with Ripple supporters who were excited about the implications of the Hinman emails’ availability.
Similarly, the rest of the crypto community celebrated Judge Torres’ decision. Most netizens have already claimed Ripple’s victory against the SEC with the decision. Attorney Jeremy Hogan, who has been consistently monitoring the SEC v. Ripple Labs case, called Judge Torres ‘the people’s judge,’ in celebration of the ruling.
Judge Torres’ rejection to seal the Hinman documents has massive implications for the SEC vs. Ripple Labs case. Specifically, this means that the Hinman documents could be used to argue that the SEC has been inconsistent in its enforcement of the securities laws. Accordingly, the document may have a significant impact on the outcome of the longstanding case.
The Hinman Documents were first obtained by Ripple Labs in October 2022 but were kept confidential at the SEC’s request. However, Garlinghouse and Stuart Alderoty, CLO of Ripple Labs, both responded favorably to the knowledge they gained from the Hinman documents. “When the truth eventually comes out, the shamefulness of their behavior here will shock you,” tweeted Garlinghouse.
In detail, the Hinman documents are a collection of 52 speech drafts and 63 emails related to the speech from the former Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance, William H. Hinman. In contrast to the SEC’s assertions that XRP is a security – which resulted in the longstanding legal battle – Hinman stated in his speech that ETH, another cryptocurrency, was not a security.