Contemporary conservatism places an affinity for, fidelity to, and defense of the U.S. Constitution at the center of its electoral, institutional, and movement politics. Through a survey of popular constitutional discourse in postwar conservatism's premiere magazine, National Review between 1955 and 1980—presented in the context of the development of (conservative) political thought and the institutional infrastructure for idea generation and propagation—I argue that that defense began to assume an ecumenically populist, antielitist, and antijudicial form only beginning in the mid-1950s, and a shared commitment to “originalism” only in the late 1970s. From the 1950s through the late 1970s, conservative constitutional argument was centered not on the judiciary, but rather on the (often divisive) constitutionalism of Congress and the executive, and on divergent views concerning structuralist versus moralist constitutional understandings. Over time, however, through dialogic engagement taking place over and through unfolding political events, the movement's diverse intellectual strands reframed and reinforced their relationship by focusing less on their differences and more on an ecumenically shared populist critique of judicial power emphasizing a virtuous demos arrayed against an ideologically driven, antidemocratic, law-wielding elite. During this formative period, besides advocating a particular approach to textual interpretation, constitutional discourse played a critical role in fashioning movement symbols and signifiers, forming hopes and apprehensions, defining threats and reassurances, marking friends and enemies, stimulating feelings of belonging and alienation, fidelity and betrayal, and evoking both rational logics and intense emotions—all of which motivate and inform the heavily constitutionalized politics of American conservatism today.