All Sharon Russell ever wanted to be was a nurse, but her weight nearly got in the way.

After she was kicked out of nursing school in 1985, weighing more than 300 pounds, she sued the school and won. Now the case has moved to the U.S. Supreme Court and she's moved to the forefront in the fight for dignity for overweight people."It's going to take time. It's going to take patience," Ms.Russell said. "And it's going to take people like me who have the guts to stand up and say, `I was humiliated."

A federal jury last year ordered Salve Regina College of Newport, R.I., to pay Russell nearly $44,000 in damages. An appeals court upheld the judgment and the school appealed to the nation's high court.

The justices this week will hear arguments to decide a narrow, procedural point of law relating to the appeals court's standard of review.

Although the decision, expected sometime next year, will have little bearing on the legal question of so-called size discrimination, it could determine whether the award must be paid.