MEDIA
02/25/2016 02:02 pm ET

Even Fox News Thinks The GOP Needs To Chill Out On This Supreme Court Thing

Republicans' refusal to let Obama nominate a new justice has some people at the conservative network scratching their heads.

It's not every day you hear the hosts and guests on Fox News urging the GOP to reel it in a little. But that's what happened Wednesday, thanks to Republicans in the Senate having vowed to stand in the president's way if he tries to nominate a new Supreme Court justice to fill the seat recently held by the late Antonin Scalia.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that if he has anything to say about it, any nominee of President Barack Obama's won't even get a hearing before the Senate. The same day, Peter Johnson Jr. -- a legal analyst and the personal attorney of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes -- joined "Fox & Friends" to call the GOP's gambit "unprecedented" and a possible "constitutional crisis."

"This is unprecedented in American history," he said. "The Senate of the United States saying 'We're not going to say hello, we're not going to shake hands... We're doing nothing with the nominee that you send over, Mr. President.'"

"This has never been done before in American history," Johnson went on. "They are taking the advice given by Joe Biden in 1992, hypothetically, that you shouldn't take up someone in an election year. Why is this happening?"

"America's Newsroom" host Martha MacCallum then took Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to task when he doubled down on refusing Obama's nominee.

"The American people ought to be able to choose their next president and have the next president, whether that's a Republican or Democrat, make the choice," Lee said.

MacCallum fired back: "Given your background and being such an adherent to the Constitution, it seems surprising to take that attitude. And it also feeds in to the notion that people in your position are blocking things from happening on Capitol Hill."

When folks on Fox News -- especially Johnson, who's been described as Ailes' "mouthpiece" on the network -- are telling Republicans to slow their roll, the GOP has a problem. Johnson implied on "Fox & Friends" that the current trend of obstructionism could end up hurting Republicans' chances down the line.

"Voters are going to make a determination in the presidential election," he said. "Did the Republican Party do the right thing here, did the [Democratic] Party do the right thing here with regard to this Senate nomination?"

"Because the president will be a sending a name," he went on. "And the pressure will mount every day when the Republicans refuse to even shake hands or say hello to that presidential nominee."

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