Two lawmakers are taking up the #FreeBritney cause in Congress.
Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) on Tuesday introduced the Freedom and Right to Emancipate from Exploitation Act, or FREE Act, which was inspired by pop star Britney Spears' conservatorship battle, The New York Times reports. The bill aims to "give persons under guardianship an escape hatch out of abusive guardianships," Crist said.
"Our bipartisan bill will do more than #FreeBritney, it will give anyone in a conservatorship the right to petition the court for a public guardian with absolutely no conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise," Mae also said.
Individuals usually need to prove abuse or fraud has occurred to replace a guardian under current law, the Times notes. The bill falls short of introducing numerous broader conservatorship reform proposals and "would not make it easier to end such a guardianship or conservatorship," the Times also writes. But Mae argued it's a "solid first step toward conservatorship reform," while Crist told the Times it was intentionally "focused" to have a greater chance at receiving bipartisan support.
Spears has spoken out against the conservatorship she has been under since 2008, which she decried as "abusive" in explosive court testimony last month. She's seeking to end the arrangement and was recently permitted to hire a new lawyer, who said Monday he's moving "aggressively and expeditiously to file a petition to remove" Spears' father from the conservatorship "unless he resigns first." The pop star's conservatorship battle has sparked the "#FreeBritney" movement and support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.).
"I think this is freaking ridiculous what is happening to Britney Spears," Cruz recently said on his podcast, "and it needs to end."