FORT HOOD, Texas —A military appeals court has ousted the judge in the Fort Hood shooting case and thrown out his order to forcibly shave the suspect.

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. 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.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 shootings on the Army post that killed 13 people and wounded more than two dozen.