On June 2, U.S. District Court judge Lynn N. Hughes of Houston heard an appeal from federal prosecutors in the case of Asher Khan, who was charged the previous month with conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State.

Prosecutors wanted Khan, 20, to remain behind bars while awaiting trial, believing he was a national security threat. Hughes decided house arrest while being monitored with an ankle bracelet was sufficient—and expressed some sharp skepticism about the prosecutors' argument, at one point asking whether the government would have detained someone during the Cold War for attempting to join the Communist Party of East Germany.

Hughes also questioned the connection between the United States and the threat of the Islamic State. After a prosecutor cited the deaths of two U.S. journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, Hughes responded, "The Americans went into territory they [the Islamic State] controlled. No. An American who voluntarily subjects himself to the authority of beheading theological fanatical murderers, that is not against America any more than somebody who robs you in Paris."

Here is a transcript of the detention hearing, with some of the more interesting exchanges highlighted:

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