Britney Spears conservatorship inspired two House lawmakers to introduce legislation on Tuesday to replace their private guardian.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), wearing a “Free Britney” T-shirt, and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) appeared on Morning Joe to talk about their bill called the Freedom and Right to Emancipate from Exploitation Act, or FREE Act.
The legislation would give all Americans the right to petition a court to have their conservator replaced with a public guardian, even if they have not proven misconduct or abuse. It also would guarantee that anyone under conservatorship be assigned an independent caseworker to monitor signs of abuse or neglect, and it would require that the guardians disclose their finances to make sure that there are no conflicts of interest.
Following a series of public incidents, Spears was placed under conservatorship in 2008, giving her father extensive control over her life. Her case has drawn a new round of attention after she asked a Los Angeles judge to terminate the conservatorship. The judge recently allowed her to appoint her own attorney.
Crist said in a statement, “Under the FREE Act, we would Free Britney along with the countless number of seniors and persons with disabilities being abused and exploited by the broken system.”
Mace said that Spears’ case is a “nightmare.”
“If it can happen to her, it can happen to anyone,” she said. “Conservatorships undoubtedly protect countless vulnerable Americans from abuse, but the case of Britney Spears reveals a darker side to a system meant to protect people.”
The text of the bill is here. A similar bill was introduced in 2019 but did not advance out of committee.
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