Republicans Urge Congress To Free Britney Spears — Has The Movement Gone Too Far?

Photo: Kathy Hutchins & Ringo Chiu / Shutterstock
Why Republicans Want Congress To Free Britney Spears

What do Donald Trump and Britney Spears have in common? The loyalty of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Matt Gaetz Republican of Florida, and Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, apparently.

While most of us only took our cries of #FreeBritney outrage to social media, Gaetz and Jordan are taking the mission of overturning Spears’ conservatorship all the way to Congress.

The two GOP members are requesting the House Judiciary Committee hold a hearing on court-ordered conservatorships like the one Spears has been caught under since 2008.

In a letter to Rep. Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Gaetz and fellow congressman Jordan name Spears, her father and the recent New York Times documentary, “Framing Britney Spears.”

“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 letter states.

RELATED: Why The Internet Is Furious With Justin Timberlake Following ‘Framing Britney Spears’ Documentary

“The most striking example is perhaps the case of multi-platinum performing artist Britney Spears,” Gaetz and Jordan continue.

Gaetz and Jordan also references repeated instances where the pop star spoke of being afraid of her father.

“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 says.

What can Congress do for Britney Spears?

Spears has made numerous failed attempts to have her father removed as the conservator of her estate. Her case is currently being debated in a probate court where conservatorships can go on indefinitely.

The letter from Gaetz and Jordan requests that Congress review the legislation and legal practice surrounding conservatorships in order to ensure no one is trapped in one unjustly.

Conservatorships, also sometimes known as adult guardianships, are typically used in the case of elderly individuals with cognitive disorders, or when severe mental illness means a person cannot manage their own daily life and financial assets.

In Gaetz and Jordan’s view, the current laws around conservatorships leave Spears and other Americans living under conservatorships open to exploitation.

Though it does seem somewhat unfair that it takes a high-profile celebrity potentially being taken advantage of for governments to take note of this kind of ill-treatment, Gaetz does point out that Spears’ case is the face of many other possible exploitations.

“Ms. Spears is not alone,” he wrote to Congress, “Given the constitutional freedoms at stake and opaqueness of these arrangements, it is incumbent upon our Committee to convene a hearing to examine whether Americans are trapped unjustly in conservatorships.”

RELATED: Who Is Britney Spears' Conservator, Jodi Montgomery?

Is this action in Congress a sign that the #FreeBritney movement has gone too far?

Responding to the congressional hearing, Spears’ father Jamie Spears once again defended his need to control his daughter’s assets.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

In a statement released by his attorney, Vivian Lee Thoreen, Congress and advocates of the #FreeBritney movement were urged to allow the family to work out terms of the conservatorship in peace.

"Jamie Spears has diligently and professionally carried out his duties as one of Britney's conservators, and his love for his daughter and dedication to protecting her is clearly apparent to the court,” Thoreen wrote.

She also reminded fans that Britney has never exercised her right to file a petition to terminate the conservatorship.

While the pop star's lawyer has insinuated that Spears welcomes the support she's received from the #FreeBritney movement and wants her story to be public knowledge rather than a hidden family secret, we have never heard directly from Spears about the matter.

The congressional hearing may be a win for others trapped in conservatorships, but the continued publicity around the #FreeBritney movement could also be viewed by some as just another layer added to the pile of ways Spears has been used as a commodity and exploited in the press.

Unless Spears can be shown respect by the media, provided with meaningful mental health supports, and given the chance to live a private life if she chooses to, outside attempts to "free" her from her conservatorship, well-intentioned as they may (or may not) be, could potentially cause her and others more harm than good.

RELATED: Who Is Jayden Federline? Britney Spears' Son Says His Mom May Never Make Music Again, Calls Grandfather A Big 'D*ck,' In Wild Video — Watch​

Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment.