High Court Action: Day 1

Wendt played the overweight barfly Norm on the show. Ratzenberger played Cliff the mailman. They contend the robots violated their rights of publicity, which give people exclusive control over the use of their likeness or voice for profit.

Boy Loses Court Fight

A Kansas youth suspended from school for three days after he drew a picture of a Confederate flag lost his high court appeal today.

The court, without comment, turned away arguments that the suspension violated the youth’s freedom of speech and other constitutionally protected rights.

T.J. West was a seventh-grader at Derby Middle School in Sedgwick, Kan., when in spring 1998 he made a 4-by-6 inch sketch of the Confederate flag during a math class. West later told his assistant principal a friend had urged him to draw the flag, and that he knew what it was but not what it meant.

West also knew drawing the flag violated a “racial harassment and intimidation” policy the school district had adopted after incidents of racial tension in 1995. The policy banned, among other things, students from possessing “any written material, either printed or in their own handwriting, that is racially divisive or creates ill will or hatred.”

Married Couple Loses Appeal

The court also rejected the appeal of a married couple who say they were sexually harassed at work by the same supervisor, letting stand a ruling that said a key federal law does not apply to bisexual harassers.

The court, acting without comment today, turned away the appeal of Steven and Karen Holman, who work together in the maintenance department of the Indiana Department of Transportation.

They sued the state and the department in 1997 over the alleged conduct of their supervisor, shop foreman Gale Uhrich.

In the lawsuit, Karen Holman alleged that Uhrich had been harassing her since late 1995 — touching her body, standing too closely and asking her to go to bed with him.

Her husband alleged that Uhrich had begun in the summer of 1995 to ask him for sexual favors.

Both individuals also alleged that Uhrich retaliated against them for rejecting his advances.

The lawsuit invoked a federal law known as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans on-the-job discrimination because of someone’s sex.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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