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Spears returns to court to end conservatorship, with bipartisan support in Congress

The conservatorship for the 39-year-old Spears has been in place since 2008.

Updated: July 13, 2021 - 12:44pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Pop star Britney Spears returns to a California court Wednesday in her effort to end a 13-year conservatorship that she says has overbearing control of her life – an argument that's getting bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. 

"I think this is freaking ridiculous what is happening to Britney Spears, and it needs to end," Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, a constitutional lawyer, said on a recent podcast.

He also compared the forced birth-control the 39-year-old Spears said is part of the conservatorship to forced sterilization.

"It occurs in Communist China and it is grotesque," he tweeted. "The judicial system ought to be protecting Britney Spears' rights, not treating her like a child."

Spears last month testified publicly in court in her bid to end the agreement, which sparked more public interest in the so-called "Free Britney" movement. Her testimony also resulted in several major developments relating to those involved in the 2008 conservatorship, crafted by Spears' father, Jamie Spears, to protect his daughter and her assets during a time of emotional crisis for her.

Since then, Spears' court-appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham III, has asked to resign, co-conservator Jodi Montgomery has asked that the conservatorship pay for 24/7 security amid increasing death threats against Montgomery and Bessemer Trust is also resigning as one of Spears' co-conservators.

Among the decisions before California Judge Brenda Penny is whether to allow a new lawyer for Spears, which will let Ingham resign. However, it's unclear whether Penny will make a final ruling Wednesday on the conservatorship.

Spears will call into the hearing but is not expected to speak.

Other members of Congress who support an end to the conservatorship and a chance for Spears to get back her freedom include Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, and Bob Casey, of Pennsylvania, along with GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz, of Florida, and Jim Jordan, of Ohio.

Spears, a mother of two who says she want to marry her boyfriend of at least four years, is worth $60 million, according to Forbes.

Warren and Casey have requested information about the guardianship system in the U.S. 

"The federal government’s role is limited, but limited is not the same thing as nonexistent," Warren recently said. "It turns out that the federal government collects a lot of data about conservatorships: where they’re used, when they’re used, how long they’re used. But they keep all that data secret. This is an area where sunshine might help."

Gaetz and Jordan have requested a congressional hearing about the conservatorship system and have asked Spears to testify.

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