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Britney Spears' Conservatorship Issue 'the Tip of the Iceberg'

Politicians lobby for beleaguered pop star, while advocates push for change on all arrangements
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2021 6:35 AM CDT
Finally, Bipartisanship in DC—to #FreeBritney
A supporter of pop star Britney Spears protests at the Lincoln Memorial during the "Free Britney" rally on Wednesday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – The West Coast has had its fair share of the #FreeBritney movement—now it's DC's turn. As the drama continues to play out in Britney Spears' conservatorship case, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have rushed to defend the 39-year-old performer, and to address such related topics as civil liberties, censorship, government overreach, and personal freedoms. NPR notes this "bipartisan push" has included everyone from GOP Sen. Ted Cruz—who said on a recent podcast that what's been happening to her is "freaking ridiculous," and that he's "squarely and unequivocally in the camp of Free Britney"—to Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bob Casey, who earlier this month co-wrote a letter that asked Attorney General Merrick Garland and Health and Human Services chief Xavier Becerra for information on conservatorships and similar arrangements.

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Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz—who the Hill notes showed up at a #FreeBritney rally in Los Angeles on Wednesday, calling her dad and conservator, Jamie Spears, a "grifter"—co-authored his own letter in March, along with GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, asking House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler for a conservatorship hearing. Gaetz has also asked Spears to testify before Congress. But while the attention has been focused on Spears and her own 13-year arrangement, advocates are hoping the attention called to the case may bring legislative change that would benefit everyone involved in such setups. "Britney Spears is the tip of the iceberg," a rep for Brooklyn Law School's Disability and Civil Rights Clinic tells NPR. "Meanwhile, we don't even know how many people are in conservatorships and guardianships," an attorney with the ACLU's disability rights initiative tells the New York Times. "We don't know whether they want to be there. We don't know why they're there." (Read more Britney Spears stories.)

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