Push to ‘Free Britney’ Gains Steam on Capitol Hill

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Politics|Push to ‘Free Britney’ Gains Steam connected Capitol Hill

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/15/us/politics/britney-spears.html

As lawmakers stock societal media posts and messages of solidarity, activists anticipation the accrued attraction connected Britney Spears’s conservatorship lawsuit volition punctual legislative change.

Protesters extracurricular  a Los Angeles courthouse during a conservatorship proceeding  for Britney Spears connected  Wednesday.
Credit...Bethany Mollenkof for The New York Times

July 15, 2021, 6:27 p.m. ET

In the weeks since Britney Spears publically denounced the long-running ineligible statement that has controlled her life, lawmakers connected some sides of the aisle person jumped successful to state their support.

Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, dedicated the latest occurrence of his podcast to the conservatorship, which has constricted Ms. Spears’s decision-making and finances since 2008. “I americium squarely and unequivocally successful the campy of #FreeBritney,” helium said, referring to the question among her fans and chap celebrities pushing for the extremity of the arrangement.

Representative Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts, excoriated the lawsuit arsenic “the craziest” helium had “seen successful a agelong time.”

And the governmental limb of the House Republican caucus seized the infinitesimal to fund-raise, sending texts that described Ms. Spears arsenic “a unfortunate of toxic gov’t overreach & censorship.”

Advocates are embracing the accrued attraction from members of Congress, saying that the lawsuit raises issues of civilian liberties arsenic good arsenic the potential for specified ineligible mechanisms to beryllium abused, including by forcing the usage of commencement control, arsenic Ms. Spears has contended. But they are besides urging lawmakers to enact legislative alteration that could assistance those trapped successful exploitative arrangements.

“It’s ever charismatic for lawmakers to nonstop retired tweets,” said Cassandra Dumas, a laminitis of Free Britney America, which is based successful Washington. “But my telephone to our lawmakers is, actions talk louder than words.”

Ms. Dumas said that portion members of her radical initially agreed implicit Ms. Spears’s case, they were anxious to propulsion for changes that would assistance others successful akin situations but who bash not person entree to the aforesaid resources.

Another situation is knowing however pervasive immoderate maltreatment mightiness be, advocates said.

“We don’t adjacent cognize however galore radical are successful conservatorships and guardianships,” said Zoe Brennan-Krohn, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s disablement rights program. “We don’t cognize however agelong they’ve been determination successful them. We don’t cognize whether they privation to beryllium there. We don’t cognize wherefore they’re there. We don’t cognize whether they person their ain lawyers.”

Free Britney America has worked with members of Congress successful caller weeks, including Representative Charlie Crist, Democrat of Florida, whose bureau said helium would soon present bipartisan authorities pressing for much rights and much transparency nether specified ineligible agreements.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, for their part, person homed successful connected the lack of data astir the prevalence of guardianships and conservatorships. In a letter, they urged the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department to enactment connected closing that gap.

In her grounds past month, Ms. Spears revealed that her father, who is her conservator, prevented her from having her IUD removed though she wanted to person much children. The disclosure prompted enactment from crossed the governmental sphere, including leaders astatine Planned Parenthood and Representative Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina.

“It’s insane you tin unit a pistillate to fundamentally sterilize herself nether the guise of protection,” Ms. Mace tweeted. “If this is happening to Britney Spears, however galore different women crossed the state are silently suffering?”

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