Ripple may have just scored a win against the SEC.
The crypto firm has been tied up in a lawsuit with the SEC for several years after the Commission accused Ripple of illegally selling the XRP token without registering it as a security.
Part of the legal battle has centered around a controversial 2018 speech and the documents that surround it.
In the speech, Bill Hinman, a former SEC director, explained why he did not consider Bitcoin or Ethereum as securities.
"Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions," Hinman said.
Back in 2021, Ripple used this speech as an indication that the SEC does not view Bitcoin or Ethereum as a security, arguing that XRP should not be considered a security either. The company then filed for Freedom of Information Act request which would reveal documents clarifying how Hinman came to this conclusion.
The SEC responded claiming that, at times, Hinman's speech represented his personal views rather than the Commission’s policy.
As a result, the governing body wanted to withhold the documents linked to this speech from public scrutiny while also arguing that the documents are protected by a statute that grants privacy for internal deliberations.
As a result, they filed a "motion to seal," which is a formal request that would prevent evidence from being available to the general public.
Judge Analisa Torres has however denied the SEC's motion to seal these documents on Tuesday saying, "they are judicial documents subject to a strong presumption of public access."
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse responded to the news via Twitter claiming the decision is "Another win for transparency!" Continuing that we should expect to see "unredacted" Hinman emails soon.
Another win for transparency! Unredacted Hinman emails to be publicly available soon - stay tuned as the lawyers work through the mechanics to make that happen. https://t.co/o6puPypRHd https://t.co/qmaLVeQaP8
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) May 16, 2023
This isn't the first time the SEC was denied the motion to seal these documents.
Last year, a judge denied the SEC's attempt to shield the same documents after a court order for the SEC to produce the documents in question.