Is their any truth to Obama's eligibility due to the Minor v. Happersett case as ruled by the Supreme Court?

My very conservative brother sent me this article on an 1875 court ruling from the Minor v. Happersett case that a natural born citizen is defined as "A natural born citizen-- regardless of birth place-- must be born of two US citizens" The article goes on to say that Obama's father was not a US citizen, and this ruling has never been superseded. Is this true. I could get little refuting it from snopes, and my brother swears it is true and he is a lawyer.

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  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    People who quote Minor v Happersett for the 2 citizen parent theory are flat out wrong. Minor was a voting rights case. The comment about natural born citizens is what's called an "obiter dictum" -- not part of the holding of the case. Since it didn't matter what kind of citizen Virginia Minor was, the parties to the case didn't present arguments on natural born citizenship. It wasn't a question the case needed to answer. Minor isn't cited (mentioned in other cases) these days as a case of citizenship by birth, it's cited as a "privileges and immunities of citizenship" case. Minor said that there was no doubt that a child born in the US to citizen parents was a natural born citizen, that some people had doubts about whether birth in the US regardless of the parents' status were citizens at birth, but that for this case it didn't matter. Since Minor had 2 citizen parents, and was born in the US, they didn't need to go further and address those doubts.

    Those doubts were cleared up by the controlling citizenship case, Wong Kim Ark v United States. WKA went into great detail about the history of citizenship at birth in England, the colonies, and the USA and the history of the 14th Amendment. WKA was born in the USA to non-citizen Chinese parents at a time when Chinese immigrants were barred from citizenship. The Supreme Court found that because WKA was born on US soil, he was a citizen at birth regardless of the status of his parents. Citizen at birth = natural born citizen. This case cited Minor and went further; therefore WKA v US is controlling. It's one of the most cited cases. Because Obama was born in Hawaii after Hawaii became a state, he's a natural born citizen and eligible to be president.

    Here's an article by a lawyer to counter your brother's article, plus hundreds of natural born citizen quotes from books and documents: http://naturalborncitizenshipresearch.blogspot.com...

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    If you are born on US soil you are a US citizen, thus the entire issue with anchor babies going on right now in the illegal immigration debate. Ask your lawyer brother about that. The most notable exception is if the child is born to an Ambassador from another country while in the US.

    BTW, Minor vs Happersett has to do with women voting and the sufferage movement. Instead of listening to any blow hard, do your own research. There is plenty of info out there. Start with the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    BINGO!

  • Bill
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    That's just plain false. Anyone born in the U.S. is a natural born citizen. Parentage only comes into if you are born outside of the U.S. For example, McCain, who was born in Panama, is a natural born citizen only because both of his parents were citizens.

    I'd like to see the othe Bill (below) produce a citation to the Constitution for his claim.

  • Kathy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    SCOTUS is the ultimate authority on what is or isn't constitutional. However, that doesnt mean they are infalable. They can and do revisit prior decisions (though usually don't)

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  • 8 years ago

    No this is not true.He is a Citizen. He was born on us soil and his mother was a citizen and don't ask me any more dumb question or I will have you put out of this Debate you fool!

  • 8 years ago

    ANYONE born in then US is a natural born citizen. Get over it. He was born in Hawaii

  • Bill
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    according to the constitution, you have to be born IN the US, and BOTH parents have to be citizens. can't make it any plainer. Obama is neither proven to be born here and his father was a British citizen. kind of scary huh.

  • 8 years ago

    No. That case decided that the 14th amendment didn't give a woman the right to vote. It doesn't say anything like what you quote. Typical GOP/Tea Party/Birther distortion.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Oh boy!

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