Inspired by Britney Spears, House Republican Matt Gaetz is calling on one of the chamber’s most influential committees to hold a hearing on court-ordered conservatorships.
As Framing Britney Spears continues to spark scrutiny – whether it be against the misogynistic press, Justin Timberlake or Britney’s father, Jamie – the latest swept up is Florida congress member Gaetz.
The lawmaker, one of former president Donald Trump’s closest allies, is urging the House Judiciary Committee, a powerful panel that oversees the federal courts and the Constitution, to free Britney Spears.
Indeed, the committee has served as the backdrop for some of America’s most historic debates, from civil rights to the impeachment of Trump. Now, it could see lawmakers debate the future of Britney’s conservatorship.
In a letter sent Monday (8 March) to committee chair Jerry Nadler, according to Variety, Gaetz, alongside Ohio representative Jim Jordan, name the documentary as capturing why the arrangement needs reforming.
He said Spears’ conservatorship, which she’s been under since 2008, is the “most striking example” of how the arrangement “deprives individuals of personal freedoms”.
Republicans call out Jamie’s ‘questionable motives’ over being Britney Spears conservator
“The House Committee on the Judiciary is charged with safeguarding the rights affording to Americans by the US Constitution,” Gaetz and Jordan write in the letter.
“These rights include having the free will to guide one’s own affairs and the legal autonomy over one’s own finances.
“When situations suggest the unjust deprivation of those rights by the government, we have an obligation to conduct oversight and explore potential remedies.
“In recent years, there has been growing public concern about the use of conservatorships to effectively deprive individuals of personal freedoms at the behest of others through the manipulation of the courts.
“The most striking example is perhaps the case of multi-platinum performing artist Britney Spears.”
Gaetz called Jamie specifically out, whom Britney has sparred with for the last year to block him from being reinstalled as her top conservator – a fight she, for now at least, lost.
“The facts and circumstancing giving rise to this arrangement remain in dispute but involve questionable motives and legal tactics by her father and now-conservator, Jamie Spears,” the letter continued.
Gaetz and Jordan added that despite the “Toxic” hitmaker’s “pleas”, Jamie remained her conservator. Britney’s attorney said in 2020 that the singer is “afraid” of her father, among other explosive claims.
Also called a guardianship, a conservatorship sees an individual’s affairs, such as their mental well-being or financial estate, placed under the control of a court-ordered person or body.
It’s usually saved for the elderly, disabled or extremely ill and has long been criticised by human rights campaigners as a way in which people “lose their civil rights and decision-making capabilities“, the American Civil Liberties Union has said.
And Framing Britney Spears has sparked intense criticism about the complex legal arrangement, provoking even further the #FreeBritney movement – a dedicated wing of Spears stans calling for her conservatorship to come to an end.