“It has gone so far as even to redact from its table of authorities some of the reported caselaw on which it relies! This is too hard to swallow,” Alsup wrote.

Alsup seemed particularly exercised by what he said was the Justice Department’s proposal that it would hang on to the confidential materials, which he added would not be officially filed with the court. If the judge is correctly stating the government’s proposal, it would be unusual even for cases involving classified information. A quick glance at the filings in the case suggests the government is following its typical process for cases involving sensitive information. (No-fly list data, which is regularly shared with uncleared airline personnel, is not considered classified but rather “sensitive security information” which the Transportation Security Administration has legal control over.)