Forbes journalist Roslyn Layton has filed a motion to intervene in the ongoing litigation between Ripple Labs and the US SEC to gain access to the Hinman speech documents.
Layton is represented by attorney J. Carl Cecere against a motion to seal certain Hinman speech documents filed by the SEC on December 22.
According to the motion, Layton has no financial interest in Ripple or XRP, nor in the case itself. However, she has published numerous articles on Forbes regarding the Hinman speech documents, analyzing their central role in the crypto industry and justifying the petition.
Layton’s arguments for document release
Layton and her attorney argue that the First Amendment and federal common law provide the press with a fundamental right of access to these judicial documents. One argument for disclosing the documents is that the SEC has conceded their significance.
According to Layton, the entire crypto industry is at stake, not just for Ripple, its execs, and the thousands of XRP holders.
William Hinman, the former SEC director of the division of corporation finance, stated that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are not securities. The contentious issue with Hinman’s speech was his association with Simpson Thacher, a group that promotes Enterprise Ethereum. Hinman returned to Simpson Thacher after he departed from the SEC.
Layton’s motion has stirred different reactions among members of the cryptocurrency community. Pro-XRP lawyer John Deaton took to Twitter to applaud Cecere and Layton for petitioning the court for public access to Hinman’s documents.
Hinman’s documents consist of emails and other SEC internal communications associated with the draft of Hinman’s controversial 2018 speech. Although the SEC surrendered the documents to Ripple in October, the public has yet to access them.
Impact of the ruling
This latest motion gives presiding Judge Torres another Hinman speech-related document ruling to consider and another reason for the SEC to consider settling. When Judge Torres rules on the motion remain to be seen.
The case will also likely determine the future of cryptocurrencies in the US, serving as a legal referendum on the SEC’s “regulation by enforcement” system for the industry.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse shared his views on the speech-related documents in January, saying:
“When those come to light, I think you will see more kind of like, how is it possible for the SEC to decide to bring a case against Ripple given what they were saying within their own walls.”
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse
XRP was trading at $0.4008 at the time of writing, up 4.6% in the last 24 hours, according to data from CoinMarketCap, reflecting the bullish sentiment on the crypto market.