Who is a natural-born citizen?
Supreme Court cases relating to citizenship at birth
Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857): In regard to the "natural born citizen" clause, Justice Benjamin R. Curtis states in his dissenting opinion that such citizenship is acquired by place of birth (jus soli), not through blood or lineage (jus sanguinis):
^ United States.; Supreme Court, Dred Scott, John F. A. Sanford, Benjamin Chew Howard (1857). ": Dred Scott, John F. A. Sanford, Benjamin Chew Howard". A Report of the Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Opinions of the Judges Thereof, in. D. Appleton. pp. 576–582. ISBN 0306711834.
Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874): In this case decided after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court stated (pp. 167–68):
The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.
John Bingham stated in the House of Representatives in 1862:
Who are natural-born citizens but those born in the Republic? […] [P]ersons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens. Gentleman can find no exception to this statement touching natural-born citizens except what is said in the Constitution relating to Indians.
^ Congressional Globe 37.2 (1862), p. 1639.
He reiterated his statement in 1866:
Every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.
^ Congressional Globe 39.1 (1866) p. 1291. Stated again during a House debate in 1872; cf. Congressional Globe 42.2 (1872), p. 2791.
In a 2008 article published by the Michigan Law Review Lawrence Solum, Professor of Law at the University of Illinois, stated that "[t]here is general agreement on the core of [the] meaning [of the Presidential Eligibility Clause]. Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States is a 'natural born citizen'".
^ Lawrence B. Solum, "Originalism and the natural born citizen clause", Michigan Law Review: First Impressions 107, peer-reviewed print version, September 2008, p. 22.