Most conservative elites come across now as heretics, not outsiders. But on the right side of the high court, Barrett would stand out. Justice John Roberts is a product of Harvard undergrad and eventually the Harvard Law Review. Neil Gorsuch was a Columbia undergrad, and he went to Harvard Law. Samuel Alito: Princeton undergrad and Yale Law School. Justice Brett Kavanaugh: Yale undergrad and Yale Law School. Amy Coney Barrett went to Rhodes College, a small, Southern Presbyterian institution, before moving on to Notre Dame.

It extends to social associations as well. Brett Kavanaugh’s background as a prep-schooler and Ivy Leaguer made our leading journalists feel so comfortable in understanding him that they felt confident in convicting him of sexual assault merely by stereotyping and generalizing from their own experience. (“When I was in high school, I faced my own Brett Kavanaugh,” one writer claimed in The Atlantic, in an essay titled “I Believe Her.”) Kavanaugh and Roberts are both members of the Chevy Chase club. That too is something elite journalists can understand. Tiger Moms can safely place their ambitious cubs as his clerks. Notably, Kavanaugh’s classmates at Yale understood how to undermine his confirmation hearings…

Amy Coney Barrett’s antagonists don’t understand her. Her success strikes them as abnormal and vaguely offensive. It always annoys people who spent so much effort following the rules that someone else did an end-run around them. Successful people, they believe, don’t go to those schools, they don’t have a family like that, and they don’t pray that way. Her ascent is a rejection of the laws of our hardening class divisions. When she sits in front of Senators Feinstein, Harris, and Hirono, Amy Coney Barrett might as well be levitating.