“A very big win” for Ripple as Hinman speech comes to the rescue

  • The court has turned down the SEC’s motion for reconsideration of its DPP –allowing Ripple access to its documents.
  • The court has also called out the regulator for its controversial statements regarding the Hinman speech on digital assets.

Ripple has now scored what attorney James K. Filan describes as “a very big win” in its case against the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In the latest proceedings, the court has rejected the regulator’s motion for reconsideration of its deliberate process privilege (DPP). Notably, a DPP is a law that exempts an executive branch of the government from revealing its internal processes. The regulator initially sought to invoke this privilege to keep Ripple from accessing certain documents to aid its cause. The court rejected the SEC’s initial motion.

Ripple marks win as Hinman’s speech comes to play

Additionally, the court has asked the commission to clarify its stance in relation to the infamous Bill Hinman speech. The latter clears Ethereum as a non-security – a statement that if applied, would help Ripple’s case.

Now, the SEC claims the court missed out on two factual matters regarding the speech, presiding Judge Netburn says. The commission says that the Hinman speech communicated the digital asset regulatory approach of its Division of Corporation Finance. This is different from its initial stance, which deflected Hinman’s speech as nothing but a personal opinion.

The court has now disagreed with the SEC’s latest assertion that Hinman’s speech provided a “framework” for digital asset regulation. The court says this statement is controversial since the SEC later said the speech was not intended as guidance. The judge has now asked the SEC not to argue on this matter as it would dispute the court’s conclusion.

 Furthermore, the ruling says the regulator is trying to downplay its refusal to take responsibility for the speech. The commission now has 14 days to file a reply to the rulings.

The SEC seeks to have it both ways, but the Speech was either intended to reflect agency policy or it was not. Having insisted that it reflected Hinman’s personal views, the SEC cannot now reject its position.

Additional happenings

Meanwhile, the SEC has managed to get the court to approve its redaction motion. This means the SEC now has the court’s permission to edit certain documents before presenting them to Ripple.

The SEC v Ripple case has dragged on for about a year and a half. Ripple now wants to begin procedures for a preliminary ruling by May. However, this is not without frustrations coming from the SEC. The regulator seeks to oppose such a move, asking for more time to present additional facts to the court. The two parties now await the court’s decision on the preliminary ruling due in April.

Related: Ripple executives lay out list of requirements to end SEC lawsuit

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