September 27, 2021

Britney Spears sparks legislative push amid apparent conservatorship abuse

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Prompted by Britney Spears’ conservatorship combat, a bipartisan legislative effort has emerged to reform the method created to guard the rights of greater than 1 million folks throughout the US below the protecting preparations.

On Tuesday, Reps. Charlie Crist and Nancy Mace unveiled “The Free Britney Act,” designed to provide extra choices to folks positioned below conservatorships. These embody the power to speak about their conditions with caseworkers – over any objections from their conservators – and petition a court docket to interchange their conservators with out having to “prove wrongdoing or malfeasance.”

“This is just a commonsense approach to doing what is right, to making sure that rights are balanced,” Crist, a Florida Democrat, stated throughout a digital information convention on Tuesday.

Each Mace, a Republican from South Carolina, and Crist stated it was Spears’ passionate plea final month {that a} choose finish the conservatorship that controls her life and cash that spurred their proposal.

“What she had was an opportunity to do is bring to light, to shine a light, on those abuses,” Mace stated. “Her situation is a nightmare, and if it can happen to Britney Spears, it can happen to anyone in this country.”

Talking in open court docket, Spears condemned her father and others who management the conservatorship, put in place as Spears underwent a psychological well being disaster in 2008. Spears stated that the association has compelled her to make use of contraception and take different medicines towards her will, and prevented her from getting married or having one other youngster.

Spears’ father and his attorneys have emphasised that she and her fortune, which court docket data put at greater than $50 million, stay susceptible to fraud and manipulation. Below present regulation, the burden is on Spears to show she is competent earlier than the case may finish.

Mace and Crist stated they anticipated extra bipartisan help for the measure, which might additionally present not less than $260 million in grant funds for states to rent caseworkers or conservators.

The #FreeBritney motion has already crossed occasion strains.

“Everyone deserves control over their own body. Period,” U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the fourth-ranking Home Democrat, tweeted final month following Spears’ testimony.

Some Home Republicans have invited Spears to testify earlier than Congress. The political arm of the Home Republican caucus despatched texts that described Ms. Spears as “a victim of toxic gov’t overreach & censorship.”

Earlier this month, Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a detailed ally of former President Donald Trump, made a short look addressing the Spears supporters exterior the downtown Los Angeles courthouse, at one level shouting “Free Britney!”