The law has failed Britney Spears and likely many others

Elie Mystal in The Nation:

The law has failed Britney Spears. The nearly 40-year-old celebrity has been locked in a “conservatorship”—which is the state of California’s word for a “legal guardianship” designed for the very old, very young, or mentally incapacitated—for 13 years, against her will. That conservatorship, controlled by her father, again, against her will, has been allowed to control Spears’s life in minute detail—including allegedly forcing unwanted birth control upon her—and none of the lawyers or judges involved has done a damn thing to stop it. Spears appeared in court, via telephone, this week to voice her objections to her continued conservatorship, and her story should lead to immediate lawmaking and change.

Believe me, I’m as surprised as anybody to find myself on this particular hill.

I’ll admit that the #FreeBritney movement—the group of fans who have been reading Spears’s Instagram page and bringing attention to her conservatorship—looked more like frenzied celebrity worshipers than legal reformers to me. But I think that I was wrong.

More here.