Bill Hinman’s speech has become one of the critical considerations upon which the ongoing legal tussle between the SEC and Ripple has been resting. The former Director of the regulatory body’s Division of Corporation Finance made a speech in 2018 at the Yahoo Markets Summit. Back then, he had declared Ethereum’s native token ETH not to be a security. Ripple clung to the speech, for it indirectly affirmed that XRP—like ETH—ain’t security, for it exists on an open, decentralized, permissionless blockchain ledger.
Ripple has sought documents relating to the speech for a reasonably long time, but the SEC has repeatedly opposed producing them. On 13 July, the judge quashed the agency’s attorney-client privilege claims and ruled “the documents must be produced.“
Now, in the latest development, the SEC has opposed the judge’s ruling and has “respectfully” requested permission to file a 30-page opening brief and a 10-page reply brief in support of why it does not want to comply with the disclosure order.
Previously, the SEC argued against the speech used in the lawsuit. Initially, it contended that Hinman made the speech in a personal capacity. It later flipped to claim that he had received guidance and insight from the regulator’s legal team. The said discrepancy has time and again been highlighted by Ripple. And per people from the community, the same give the defendants an upper hand. The judge, on her part, also labeled the SEC’s arguments to be hypocritical. Commenting on similar lines, attorney Jeremy Hogan tweeted,
“Someone needs to talk them off the ledge.”
The essence of amici status in the Ripple lawsuit
The amici status has been another crucial tangent to the ongoing case. This status, as such, grants individuals to assist in court hearings in some instances and enables them to file “friends of the court” briefs. Last year, thousands of XRP HODLers, led by attorney John Deaton submitted a motion to intervene in the case. Even though their motion was denied, they did receive the amici status. And now, the SEC has been hell-bent on eliminating XRP HODLers out of the picture and has requested the court to revoke the said status.
Following the same, John Deaton accused the SEC and Gensler of implementing their “detailed plan,” which was unfavorable to the industry. He tweeted,
“People need to realize the smoke and mirrors being played by the SEC in all of this.”
Deaton then continued elaborating on a hypothetical end-game scenario.