During a Senate confirmation hearing this week for a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) repeatedly tried to destroy the credibility of Myrna Pérez regarding her refusal to use the word “felon” when referring to those who have been convicted of a crime. But he only succeeded in embarrassing himself.

HuffPost notes that Cotton seemed to be mocking Pérez, who is a well-known advocate for voting rights, asking her:

“So if they commit a felon[y], do you think it’s fair to call them a felon?”

Pérez responded:

“I think that that is a bit different because there’s a temporal issue, and I think that there’s a raging policy debate on that.”

The senator continued to press, clearly believing he was about to trip up Pérez:

“Because in the past you’ve said you don’t like to use that word. You said, “I don’t use words like ‘felons’ to describe people. I mean, we don’t describe people by a mistake that they made.”

The nominee replied:

“I don’t. I believe that every person is a child of God capable of being redeemed, and I never look at anybody and see the worst thing that they’ve ever done.”

Cotton tried again:

“If those convicted murderers or rapists get released from prison, often under misguided policies, do you think it’s still fair to call them a murderer or rapist?”


“Irrespective of what their label was, sir, I would be on record as an advocate of trying to advocate for their right to vote if the criminal justice system had deemed them to be fit to be living amongst us.”\

That was all it took to shut down Cotton, who ended his questions with this:

“All right, thanks for your testimony.”

If she’s confirmed, Pérez will be the only Latina on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Featured Image Via NBC News