ASAN Joins ACLU Brief in Britney Spears Conservatorship Case

A pen and paper

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and numerous other civil rights organizations in filing an amicus brief in Britney Spears’ conservatorship case. An amicus brief, also called a “friend of the court” brief, is a way for advocates to tell the court what they think. The brief explains that all people under conservatorship – including Ms. Spears – have the right to choose their own lawyer to represent their interests. The brief also explains that people under conservatorship should get supports to help them decide who to hire as their lawyer. 

When someone is under conservatorship, or guardianship, that means that a court has given someone else the right to make decisions for a person with a disability. The conservator can make decisions about how to spend the person’s money, where the person lives, or even where the person can go during the day and who they can see. To get their rights back, the person has to go to court. People have a right to a lawyer to help them fight for their rights. We believe that people under guardianship or conservatorship are better served when they – and not their guardians, conservators, or the judges overseeing their case – decide who represents them in court.

“Britney Spears’ conservatorship case has gotten a lot of attention,” said Sam Crane, ASAN’s Legal Director. “But there are many other people who are also under conservatorship and want their rights back. People who lose their rights under conservatorship or guardianship are more likely to belong to other marginalized groups as well – such as women and people of color. This case gives us a chance to change how California courts treat all people under conservatorship.” 

You can read the brief here. For more information, contact Sam Crane, ASAN’s Legal Director, at

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which autistic people enjoy equal access, rights, and opportunities. We work to empower autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community, and seek to organize the autistic community to ensure our voices are heard in the national conversation about us. Nothing About Us, Without Us!