September 2, 2014
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - A military appeals court has ousted the judge in the Fort Hood shooting case and threw out his order to have the suspect's beard forcibly shaved before his court-martial.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled Monday that Col. Gregory Gross didn't appear impartial while presiding over the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan. But the court didn't rule on whether Gross' order about Hasan's beard violated his religious rights.
Hasan says his beard is a requirement of his Muslim faith, but facial hair violates Army rules.
The appeals court says the command, not the judge, is responsible for enforcing grooming standards.
Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 shootings on the Texas Army post that killed 13 people and wounded more than two dozen.
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