As Britney Spears continues to fight against the conservatorship she’d been under for 13 years, a new bipartisan bill has been introduced in to the US House of Representatives that appears to be inspired by her battle.
The bill, called the Freedom and Right to Emancipate from Exploitation (FREE) Act, would give people under conservatorships the right to request that their court-appointed guardian be replaced with a public guardian employed by the state, a family member or a private agent. As the New York Times points out, conservatees currently have to prove that abuse or fraud has occurred for their guardian to be replaced.
“We want to make sure that we bring transparency and accountability to the conservatorship process,” commented Representative Nancy Mace (R-South Carolina), one of two co-sponsors of the bill alongside Charlie Crist (D-Florida), in a statement to the Times. “If this can happen to [Britney Spears], it can happen to anybody.”
Last week, at the latest hearing in Spears’ case, the singer was granted the right to choose her own lawyer in the continuing legal battle over her conservatorship, which the star called “abusive” and signalled she wished to end without evaluation at a hearing last month. At a court hearing in Los Angeles, Judge Brenda Perry ruled that former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart will be allowed to take the place of Spears’ longtime court-appointed lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III, who tendered his resignation earlier in the month.
Over the weekend, Spears took to Instagram to attack members of her family, including sister Jamie Lynn Spears and her father (and co-conservator) Jamie Spears. Addressing the conservatorship generally, she also wrote, “This conservatorship killed my dreams … so all I have is hope and hope is the only thing in this world that is very hard to kill … yet people still try!!!!”