Although the U.S. Supreme Court has never specifically determined the meaning of "natural born Citizen," they have occasionally considered the matter in passing. Again this is your history, so pay attention and learn something. The first case
was the historically drumming Dred Scott v. Sandford, decided in the year 1857): It said-- "In regard to the "natural born citizen" clause, the dissent states that it is acquired by place of birth (jus soli), not through blood or lineage (jus sanguinis): The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, 'a natural born citizen.' It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth." (Much of the majority opinion in this case was overturned by the 14th Amendment in 1868.)
United States v. Wong Kim Ark 169 U.S. 649: A person born within the jurisdiction of the U.S. to non-citizens who "are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity" is automatically a citizen. Then came the case of Perkins v. ELG, 307 U.S. 325 (1939): The US Supreme Court found that a Miss Elg, born of one naturalized US citizen and one foreigner, a Swedish citizen, in Brooklyn, New York was a citizen of the United States. It was somewhat vague about whether she was a natural born citizen or not. By contrast, this decision noted that a Mr. Steinkauler, born in St. Louis, Missouri to two U.S. citizen parents (at least one a naturalized citizen born in Prussia) was a "native-born citizen". Then there was Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163 (1964): The Court voided a statute that provided that a naturalized citizen should lose his United States citizenship if, following naturalization, he resided continuously for three years in his former homeland. We start from the premise that the rights of citizenship of the native-born and of the naturalized person are of the same dignity and are coextensive. The only difference drawn by the Constitution is that only the 'natural born' citizen is eligible to be President. Cases in other courts relating specifically to the "natural born citizen" clause
Three United States District Courts have ruled that private citizens do not have standing to challenge the eligibility of candidates to appear on a presidential election ballot: Robinson v. Bowen, 567 F. Supp. 2d 1144 . 2008); Hollander v. McCain, 2008WL2853250 . 2008); Berg v. Obama, 08-04083 . 2008) In dicta in each of these cases, it was also opined that if the plaintiffs did have standing, the likelihood of success on the merits (which is part of the legal test for the issuance of a preliminary injunction) would be low. The opinion in one of the cases also cited to a statutory method by which the eligibility of the President-elect to take office may be challenged in Congress. There are several active federal and state lawsuits against Obama charging that he is not a natural born citizen, and therefore ineligible to hold the office of President of the United States. But this is the most interesting of all! There were indeed Presidential candidates born outside the US!
A small minority of people outside mainstream legal thought dispute whether the foreign-born children of US citizens are natural born citizens. While every President and Vice President to date (as of 2008) has either been a citizen at the adoption of the Constitution in 1789, or else born in the United States, there have been some presidential candidates who were born outside the United States. For example there was dear old
Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886), 21st president of the United States, who was strongly considered to have been born in Canada and therefore might not (according to the minority view) have been a natural-born citizen. This was never demonstrated by his political opponents, although they raised the objection during his vice-presidential campaign. He was born to one US citizen parent and a naturalized US citizen from Ireland. Arthur was sworn in as president after President Garfield died after being shot. Then there was dear old Barry Goldwater. Mr. Conservative, as he was known was born in Arizona in 1909, and ran for the Presidency as a Republican Party candidate in 1964. Goldwater's natural born citizenship status was severely questioned because Arizona was a territory of the United States, and did not become a state until 1912. Then there was George Romney, who ran for the Republican party nomination in 1968, was born in Mexico to U.S. parents. Romney’s grandfather emigrated to Mexico in 1886 with his three wives and children after Utah outlawed polygamy. He refused to change his views about polygamy. That alone today would have defeated him at any election! Romney's parents eventually retained their U.S. citizenship and returned to the United States in 1912. Romney was 32 years old when he arrived in Michigan. Romney never received Mexican citizenship, because the country's nationality laws had been restricted to jus-sanguinis statutes due to prevailing politics especially aimed against American settlers.Lowell Weicker, the former Connecticut Senator, Representative, and Governor, entered the race for the Republican party nomination of 1980 but dropped out before voting in the primaries began. He was born in Paris, France to parents who were U.S. citizens. His father was an executive for E. R. Squibb & Sons and his mother was the Indian-born daughter of a British general.Róger Calero was born in Nicaragua in 1969 and ran as the Socialist Worker's Party Presidential Candidate in 2004 and 2008. In 2008, Calero appeared on the ballot in Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. Now wait until you hear this one:John McCain, who ran for the Republican party nomination in 2000 and was the Republican nominee in 2008, was born in 1936 at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone to U.S. parents. In March 2008 McCain was held barely eligible for Presidency in an opinion paper by former Solicitor General Ted Olsonm and Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe. In April 2008 the US Senate approved a non-binding resolution recognizing McCain's status as a natural born citizen, but not without a lengthy filibuster. In September 2008 a Federal District judge said that only by his opinion that it was "pretty probable" that McCain was a natural born citizen of the United States owing to the citizenship legislation existing at the time. These views have been criticized by Gabriel J. Chin, Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, who claims that McCain was at birth a citizen of Panama and was only retroactively declared a born citizen under 8 U.S.C.§ 1403.Prominent Elected Officials and Members of a President's Cabinet who are currently ineligible to hold the Presidency The following U.S. citizens are ineligible to become President because neither parent was American, and their mothers were not in America, at the time of their birth:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a second-term governor of California. He was born in Thal, Austria. Well, we knew that one-- and Arnold will never run for president BUT Fmr. Sec. Madeleine Albright (who was in line to be president) was a United States Ambassador to the United Nations and U.S. Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton and is currently a Professor at Georgetown University. She was born in Prague, in the former Czechoslovakia. Fmr. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz was a United States Senator from Minnesota and is currently Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. He was born in Berlin, Germany. There's more!
Sec. Elaine Chao is the current U.S. Secretary of Labor and a former Director of the Peace Corps. She was was born in Taipei Taiwan Sec. Carlos Gutierrez is the current U.S. Secretary of Commerce. He was born in Havana, Cuba. So my friends-- always look to history for a portrait of the future. When the first eight presidents were born, they were all born prior to 1787 when the Constitution was ratified- and until that Constitution was ratified there was no United States of America. The Articles of Confederation was all power to individual states and did not recognize America as anything but a confederation. A confederation based on the Ancient Greeks formula unites a people by language, mores, philosophy and common interest but not to govern as a central government. There you are. case closed!