Last fall, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Fisher v. Texas, a case concerning the affirmative action policy at the University of Texas. The decision that the Court hands down later this term could shape affirmative action policy and jurisprudence for decades to come. At least two of the Justices call themselves originalists, saying that the Constitution should be interpreted in light of its original understanding. But what does originalism have to say about affirmative action? In this study, I argue that contrary to some expectations, both the original intent and original meaning inherent in the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause support reading it to allow states to implement affirmative action policies. Although the Clause is often assumed to mandate colorblindness in the law, the passage of laws affirmatively benefiting African Americans as a racial group by the same Congresses that passed the Reconstruction Amendments indicates that the framers of those amendments did not consider affirmative action to violate equal protection of the law. Furthermore, a unitary reading of the Reconstruction Amendments supports understanding the Equal Protection Clause to prohibit not simply race-conscious laws, but laws that connote stigma or inferiority upon a racial group. Because affirmative action does not imply the inferiority of whites even though it benefits African Americans, it does not violate the 14th Amendment.