The intent of this clause was clear at the time. Many of our founding fathers were not born in the Colonies, but in England. They wanted to make sure that future Presidents had to be born on US soil. That was their intent and that is why they used the term "natural born."
"This understanding may have been reflected in the first naturalization act of 1790 "An Act to Establish a Uniform Rule of Naturalization," which provided "the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens. " Because the First Congress passed this act, it arguably reflects the original understanding of "natural born citizen " as encompassing those born of the citizen-sovereigns on foreign soil. On this interpretation, John McCain would be a natural born citizen of the United States (at least for the purposes of eligibility for the presidency) because the original meaning of that phrase includes all persons born to American citizens."
Copyright (c) 2008 Michigan Law Review
Michigan Law Review First Impressions
107 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 22 COMMENTARIES: ORIGINALISM AND THE NATURAL BORN CITIZEN CLAUSE
NAME: Lawrence B. Solum* +