Britney spurs Congress to tackle toxic conservatorships

“No matter who you are, no matter where you are politically, just hearing about that ... the degree of control that’s been exerted over her life, it’s disturbing,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said in an interview. “It’s offensive to a lot of Americans.”

The political allure of defending Spears goes far beyond the public support that boomed this year for an initially fan-driven effort to “free” the singer from her guardianship, also called a conservatorship. For progressives, she stands out as a victim of a setup that’s put her father and a wealth management company in control of her finances. For conservatives, Spears is a burgeoning libertarian icon, asserting her free will in the face of a judicial complex that at its worst is blamed for exploitation of senior citizens and young people...

As to what members of Congress can actually do about it — that’s harder to say. A court hearing set for Wednesday might yield more freedom for the singer who’s said she feels “enslaved” by her conservatorship. Lawmakers acknowledge that situations like Spears’ are largely controlled by states, not the federal government, but they argue that Congress can still help reform the system she’s shined a light on.