Inspired By Britney Spears, Legislators Have Introduced A Reform Bill Around Conservatorships

It seems that the case of freeing Britney Spears from her long-running conservatorship is something everyone — from Madonna to embattled Republican Representative Matt Gaetz — can get behind. Now, a bipartisan bill has been introduced that, if passed, would make it easier for people living under conservatorships to request a different guardian other than their court-appointed one in situations of abuse and fraud.

The bill is called the Freedom And Right To Emancipate From Exploitation Act (or, the FREE Act, a reference to the #FreeBritney movement). The bill was introduced by sponsors Representatives Charlie Crist (D-Florida) and Nancy Mace (R-South Carolina).

Speaking to The New York Times, Mace said about the bill, “We want to make sure that we bring transparency and accountability to the conservatorship process. If this can happen to [Britney Spears], it can happen to anybody.” Crist added, “We’ve tried to be very smart and focused. That gives us a much greater opportunity to have success.” It should be noted that while the bill provides a way forward for people living under conservatorships to choose a different guardian (other than their court-appointed ones), it does not actually make it easier for them to dissolve their guardianships.

Last week, Spears scored major a win in a court when a judge allowed her to retain a lawyer of her choice, former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart. Until recently, Spears had been working with her court-appointed lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham III, who recently stepped down from his role. While the singer’s conservatorship stating that her conservator, her father Jamie Spears in this case, needs to approve any moves the singer attempts to make, Rosengart argued that it’s the singer’s constitutional right to have the lawyer of her choice. On July 19, Rosengart told news outlets that he and his firm were “moving aggressively and expeditiously to file a petition to remove Jamie Spears unless he resigns first.”