Britney Spears has been trying to make some changes to her conservatorship, and she might have a new ally — the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU tweeted last week that it would be willing to help Spears amid a court battle over the pop star’s conservatorship, which has been in place since 2008, according to HuffPost.
“People with disabilities have a right to lead self-directed lives and retain their civil rights,” the ACLU wrote on Twitter. “If Britney Spears wants to regain her civil liberties and get out of her conservatorship, we are here to help her.”
Last week, a judge in California ruled that Spears’ conservatorship would remain without any changes until February 2021, the New York Times reported.
The conservatorship gave Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, power to oversee her personal, financial and health decisions until he stepped down temporarily due to health issues last year, according to The Guardian.
Spears’ lawyer had said last week that the pop star was “strongly opposed” to her father, Jamie Spears, returning to his role as conservator, according to the Times. Instead, Spears preferred that her longtime care manager and temporary conservator Jodi Montgomery remain in the role, in part because Spears wanted to leave open the possibility to “seek termination of this conservatorship in the future.”
In an article the ACLU shared on Sunday, titled “How Conservatorship Threatens Britney Spears’ Civil Rights,” a staff attorney for the ACLU’s Disability Rights Project called Spears’ case a “civil rights/civil liberty issue.”
“We don’t know if Britney Spears identifies herself as a person with disabilities, or what, if any, diagnoses she has received,” attorney Zoe Brennan-Kohn said in the ACLU article. “But by virtue of being under a conservatorship, we know that the court has determined that she is disabled, and has stripped away her civil rights because of that disability.”
Brennan-Kohn also noted that conservatorship comes with its own risks, which can include financial, physical or emotional abuse.
“And even when there is no abuse, conservatorships limit a person’s ability to advocate for themselves, learn from their decisions and mistakes and grow and develop,” Brennan-Kohn said.
Jamie Spears has previously spoken out about rumors that his daughter has been under too much control, telling Page Six earlier this month, “The world don’t have a clue. It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business.”
The next hearing in Spears’ case will take place on Oct. 14, according to The Guardian.