The government has a Wednesday deadline to tell an appeals court why an Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage should be clean-shaven during his murder trial.
Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces delayed Maj. Nidal Hasan's court-martial while it considers his objection to being forcibly shaved.
Hasan has grown a beard in violation of Army regulations, saying it's an expression of his Muslim faith. The judge, Col. Gregory Gross, has banned Hasan from courtroom hearings but said he will be forcibly shaved before the trial if he does not shave the beard himself.
Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the attack on the Texas Army post.