I got a call from Attorney General Richardson saying, "Professor, the President wants me to fire you." So I said, "Well, Elliott, you do what you think is right." And so Richardson resigned rather than fire me.
Then I got a call from Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus, who became Attorney General when Richardson resigned. And he said, "Professor, the President wants me to fire you." So I said, "Well, Bill, you do what you think is right" -- and he resigned, too.
Then I got a call from the next man in line at the Justice Department, Solicitor General Bork. He hadn't been my student.
The whole class erupted in laughter at that point, but Cox cut us off. "Laugh now," he said, "but just wait until you see Robert Bork nominated for the Supreme Court."
In case you missed the news yesterday, in a posthumous memoir soon to be published, Bork confessed for the first time that Richard Nixon promised him a seat on the Supreme Court for firing Cox.