It had been an especially bruising few months for Richard Nixon. In the 2-year war that became known as "Watergate," Nixon had lost the final real battle just weeks earlier.
In an 8-to-0 decision, the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to relinquish Oval Office tapes he'd made in hopes of preserving history. No one could know those very tapes would doom his presidency.
Nixon's grip on power and the faith of those he served had weakened steadily over the prior year, then precipitously in those final weeks...
Think how different history would have been if this Magnificent Nine had been on the bench in '74. Can anybody think SCOTUS of today would vote 8-0 to force a president to turn over the tapes? (Yes, I meant "a Republican president." Sorry.) Even 5-4 is a long shot. And Bush will probably get 3 more Scalia clones appointed to the bench in his next term. Speak the unspeakable: "Chief Justice Clarence Thomas."
And be afraid. Be very afraid.