Justice Clarence Thomas picked up the petition to hear New Jersey attorney Leo Donofrio's lawsuit after Justice David H Souter denied it. Justice Thomas referred it to the full court, which decided to distribute the case for the judges' conference.
The decision to put the case on Friday's docket resulted from more than a dozen lawsuits challenging Obama's right to be president based on his citizenship at birth. The issue preoccupied many conservative bloggers in the weeks before the November 4 election.
Obama was born under the jurisdiction of a foreign power, Britain, and is therefore ineligible to serve as president of the United States, according to a lawsuit that has reached the Supreme Court.
Nevertheless, for the lawsuit even to make it to the docket raises the possibility of an unprecedented case going before the Supreme Court. At least four of the court's nine judges must approve before the case is heard.