FORT HOOD, Texas -- The U.S. Army's Government Appellate Division filed a response brief Aug. 22 with the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in the United States vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan Court-Martial arguing that Col. Gregory Gross, trial judge, is within his rights to compel Soldiers who appear before him in courts-martial to be clean shaven.  The GAD filed this brief after the CAAF ordered Hasan's court-marital stayed to resolve the issue.

The GAD is made up of Army military attorneys who represent the U.S. in appellate litigation before the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, the CAAF, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  Occasionally, when an accused at a court-martial seeks extraordinary relief from an appellate court before the court-martial is complete, the trial judge is the named party to that action. 

In this case, the accused, Hasan, sought extraordinary relief from the CAAF by asking them to prohibit the trial judge, Gross, from compelling the accused to be clean shaven for trial.  Although the action before the CAAF is styled "Nidal Hasan, Petitioner, vs. Gregory Gross, Colonel, United States Army, Military Judge, Respondent," the GAD wrote and submitted the brief to the CAAF on behalf of Gross.

On Aug. 15, the CAAF ordered Hasan's court-martial stayed (temporarily delayed) pending resolution of this matter.  Now that the parties have filed briefs with the CAAF, the CAAF will determine the next step in this litigation. For example, the CAAF could now issue an order that resolves the matter, or it could order oral argument by both parties. Although not specifically provided for in court rules, Hasan's defense attorneys may also seek to file a reply to the response filed Aug. 22.  There is no date currently set for the trial to begin, as that date will be determined once the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces renders a final decision. 

Hasan also has another issue pending in a military appellate court. On Aug. 14, Hasan, through his defense counsel, sought extraordinary relief from the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.  In this action, the accused is seeking the appellate court to order Gross to grant a continuance to the defense. The GAD has filed a response on this issue to the court. The ACCA has not yet ruled on the matter.

The CAAF's Web page is at  http://www.armfor.uscourts.gov/newcaaf/home.htm. The ACCA Web page is https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/8525749F007224E4.

The accused is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.