In his Sunday column, R.D. Skidmore argues that President Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen (a qualification for the presidency) because his father was not a citizen of the U.S.
To buttress his claim, he presents a quote from the 1874 US Supreme Court case Minor vs. Happersett to the effect that "... 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."
He doesn't quote the rest of the paragraph. "... 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."
The takeaway from Minor vs. Happersett is that there are two types of citizens: Native, also called natural born, and naturalized.
Oddly, Skidmore ignores the 1898 case United States vs Wong Kim Ark. Wong Kim Ark was the child of Chinese nationals living in the United States. Neither of his parents was a U.S. citizen. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court applied a literal reading of the 14th Amendment: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."
Wong Ark Kim, born in the United States of noncitizen parents, was held to be a U.S. citizen. Since he acquired citizenship by birth he was, according to the definition set out in Minor vs Happersett, a natural born citizen.
Title 8 Section 1401 of the US Code says: "The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: a) a person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof..."
To sum up: There are two types of citizens: Citizens at birth (aka natural-born citizens) and foreigners who have become naturalized citizens. President Obama was born in the state of Hawaii, which is part of the United States. Therefore, President Obama is a U.S. citizen at birth. Therefore, President Obama is a natural born citizen.