ACLU Files Brief To Protect Britney Spears Amid Conservatorship Battle!July 14, 2021
The American Civil Liberties Union has officially gone to bat for Britney Spears amid her conservatorship battle — and it’s calling out the court for infringing on the pop princess’ rights!
On Tuesday, the non-profit organization filed an amicus brief in support of the Toxic singer as she tries to take the steps to end the 13-year conservatorship she described as “abusive” in court last month.
The ACLU, along with 25 civil and disability organizations, filed the brief in support of the Grammy winner’s desire to choose her own attorney after her court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, resigned from the case last week. As we’ve reported, this wish is prohibited by the conservatorship, as Brit can’t sign any paperwork to get the ball rolling without the approval of her father, Jamie Spears, despite the fact that this move is an attempt to kick him out of his conservator role.
But now, the Union is here to help — and it’s even calling for Brit to be given access to assistance and tools to make her selection for her attorney’s replacement. Zoë Brennan-Krohn, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Disability Rights Project, said in a statement on Tuesday:
“Britney Spears has said that she wants to pick her own lawyer and the court should respect that wish. The court should ensure Spears has access to the tools she needs to make that choice meaningfully and to hire someone she trusts to advocate for her stated goal: to get out of her conservatorship. Spears’s right to select an attorney is not only a basic tenet of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, but also consistent with principles of personal autonomy and agency. The California Superior Court must recognize Spears’s autonomy and the rights of people with disabilities to live independent, self-directed lives as active members of their communities.”
The line about recognizing the rights of people with disabilities is particularly powerful, as it challenges the conservatorship’s biggest argument as to why the hitmaker shouldn’t be able to choose her own attorney — and, really, why this legal arrangement should be upheld altogether.
Thankfully, experts are now pointing out why that logic infringes on Britney’s “civil liberties and dignity.” Amanda Goad, the Audrey Irmas director of the LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project at the ACLU SoCal, added:
“Britney’s superstardom and wealth make this an atypical case, but she has described serious infringements on her civil liberties and dignity that are all too typical for people living under conservatorships and guardianships. It’s not just about Britney. We hope that offering supported decision-making to Britney Spears can serve as a model in other cases, because all people living with disabilities or under conservatorship deserve an opportunity to make their own informed choices.”
We’ll see what the court makes of this, but we have a feeling this is a great development for Britney as the fight for her freedom continues. The ACLU are of course not the first to take up the case. Republican Representative Matt Gaetz called for a congressional hearing on abusive conservatorships based on Britney’s case, and Senators from Ted Cruz to Elizabeth Warren have likewise voiced their support for potential reform.
Who would have thought, in our divided country, that #FreeBritney would be the thing everyone could agree on??
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