MT, Thank you for your post. I was using the Minor decision about the “in country” part.
Hope this is helpful:
In the case, Minor v. Happersett (1874), Minor, a woman, wanted to register to vote in the federal Presidential election and was denied registration because of her gender.
Deliberating this case, the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitutional framers did not define natural born Citizen but that they did know its meaning and that it was different from Citizen as stated in our Constitution. It was the framers who made this distinction, and the Court rendered unanimously the definition that children born of parents (note the plural) who are citizens are natural born citizens eligible for the Presidency.
The courts decision states: 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.
In Minor v. Happersett the Supreme Court fully understood and applied the Principles of Constitutional Construction in their decision.
The first seven Presidents were Citizens of the United States and not natural born Citizens, yet they qualified for the office (Washington through Jackson); because they were citizens at the time of the adoption of [the] Constitution! These Presidents had lived through the Revolutionary War, they were patriots, loved our country at the exclusion of Great Britain, and held allegiance to our country as patriots. The founders recognized that a natural born Citizen, being born to Citizen parents (plural) would have the same regard and love of country as these founders; at least that was their hope, prayer and intention.
The founders recognized that congress may define at any time who can become a citizen and how they become a citizen; one only need to begin reading the naturalization acts passed by congress, and include the 14th Amendment. These enactments define citizenship and naturalization of citizens but never define the eligibility requirement for President of the United States because it is already constitutionally established.
The founders recognized that congress may define at any time who can become a citizen and how they become a citizen;
The Founders never gave Congress the ability to define who can become a citizen, and the only ability it was given to determine HOW they became a citizen was by making a regular rule for immigration that the States were required to follow.
The federal government has no direct authority concerning citizenship.....period.