Letter writer Ted Sirois of Saco (“Obama flouts Constitution much like Andrew Jackson,” May 11) worries that President Obama is violating the Constitution on a grander scale than President Andrew Jackson. There are many reliable sources noting that Jackson was an inflexible racist who was determined to remove Native Americans and to ensure the continuation of slavery, and that his policies resulted in years of untold famine, misery and death.

Did Obama really say that he would ignore constitutional powers given to Congress? No. He said that, given Congress’ failure to legislate on significant issues, he would issue executive orders – administrative changes – that would allow agencies to manage operations within the federal government and would have the force of law within certain discretionary powers given to the elected president under the U.S. Constitution.

Moreover, these orders are subject to judicial review and may be struck down by the courts if they are found to be unsupported by the Constitution or statute. Keeping it in perspective, note that Obama has issued 175 executive orders thus far; during their terms in office, George W. Bush issued 291 and Bill Clinton, 364.

A complete description of executive powers can be found online at Wikipedia. Get all executive orders ever issued at whitehouse.archives.gov.

Dawn Leland

Portland