Hattip to Ann Althouse. Major Nidal Hasan on November 5, 2009 at Fort Hood murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded 29 others. Since that time his trial has been pending. And pending. And pending. The latest development? The military judge presiding over the case has been removed. Why? Because, pursuant to regulations, he ordered that Hasan be forced to shave his beard.
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.”