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Two Republican lawmakers requested a hearing to examine legal conservatorships, citing pop star Britney Spears’ widely reported arrangement involving her father as the conservator of her estate.
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., asked Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to schedule a hearing to examine potentially unjust conservatorships in a letter dated Monday and released on Twitter Tuesday.
Spears’ conservatorship has gained attention in recent weeks after The New York Times aired a documentary, “Framing Britney Spears,” about the so-called Free Britney movement. Activists involved in the movement claim Spears is being unjustly held in a conservatorship by her father, who is able to control her finances. While Spears has rarely commented on the conservatorship, recent court filings have reportedly shown that she’s asked for her father to be removed as the sole conservator.
Conservatorships are used to allocate financial or personal decisions to another person in the case an individual is unable to make them on their own. Spears’ conservatorship is unusual for how young she was when it was imposed and how long it has lasted. Conservatorships are most commonly used in cases of mental disability or dementia that prevent a person from making their own sound decisions.
Spears was in her late 20s when a court approved her conservatorship in 2008. That came after a series of high-profile incidents that led the public to question the state of her mental health, and stints in rehab and a psychiatric hospital.
“Given the constitutional freedoms at stake and opaqueness of these arrangements, it is incumbent upon our Committee to convene a hearing to examine whether Americans are unjustly trapped in conservatorships,” Jordan and Gaetz wrote.