"Although the military judge here stated that [Hasan's] beard was a 'disruption,' there was insufficient evidence on this record to demonstrate that [Hasan's] beard materially interfered with the proceedings," the unsigned ruling said.
"Taken together.... the decision to remove [Hasan] from the courtroom, the contempt citations and the decision to order [Hasan's] forcible shaving in the absence of any command action to do the same could leave an objective observer to conclude that the military judge was not impartial."
The appeals court did not specifically rule on Hasan's claim that his beard was protected under freedom of religion.
December 4, 2012
"The military judge supervising the trial of accused Ft. Hood shooter Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was removed from the case Monday..."
"... with the military's highest appeals court ruling that his 'duel of wills' with Hasan over the defendant's beard gave the appearance of bias."