John Deaton, the lawyer representing over 75,000 XRP holders in the ongoing legal battle between Ripple and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), recently shared notable insights during his appearance at the inaugural onXDC Live blockchain industry conference held in Texas.
In his address, Deaton shed light on an essential legal aspect that may cast doubt on the SEC’s actions: the concept of qualified immunity.
Qualified Immunity of the SEC
Qualified immunity provides a safeguard to government officials, including those within the SEC, shielding them from personal liability when executing their official duties. Deaton emphasized that this immunity represents a formidable hurdle when seeking accountability for regulatory decisions.
Deaton drew attention to the legal case involving Bernard Madoff, wherein investors sued the SEC for its failure to take action despite repeated warnings about the notorious Ponzi scheme. Unfortunately, the judge ultimately dismissed the case, underscoring the challenges of holding the SEC accountable.
Deaton Predits Judge Denies SEC Appeal
Deaton clarified the current status of the appeal process in the Ripple case. While an interlocutory appeal motion is underway, a comprehensive appeal may only proceed after the trial, significantly elongating the timeline.
Pondering potential outcomes, Deaton contemplated SEC officials taking the stand or potentially brokering a settlement. The likelihood of the latter option depends on the resolution of the Coinbase case, as the SEC’s stance on the security status of various cryptocurrencies could impact the settlement.
Deaton, in his address, also predicted that Judge Analisa Torres would deny the interlocutory appeal and make the SEC wait for a full appeal which may not be heard by the Second Circuit until late 2024.
John Deaton noted:
“There is no appeal right now, all the judge did was allow them to write a motion for an appeal for an interlocutory appeal. I predict she denies it and then when she denies it, they have to wait for a full appeal which, after the case, would be sometime in late 2024, which would take another 18 months, which would mean we’d be into late 2025 before the second circuit could ever hear it.”
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John Deaton’s insights at the onXDC Live conference unveiled the legal complexities surrounding Ripple’s battle against the SEC. The notion of qualified immunity serves as a significant obstacle in holding the SEC and officials accountable. As the appeal process continues, the outcome of the Coinbase case looms large, shaping the future path of potential settlement.
XRP Community Support and Ongoing Developments
In addition to John Deaton’s insights, the Ripple community remains steadfast in their support for the company amidst the ongoing legal proceedings. Empowered by the quest for clarity and regulatory certainty, various developments continue to unfold, including partnerships, technological advancements, and collaborations within the digital asset ecosystem. These efforts underscore the resilience of Ripple and its commitment to revolutionizing the world of payments and cross-border transactions.