I have enough rep to protect and unprotect questions. Sometimes I come across a question that has been protected years ago, and I believe it should no longer be protected. In these cases, when should I step up and unprotect it? I do not want to appear to be attempting to overrule a moderator's decision, but I also do not like to see restrictions remain long after the initial surge in low quality answers has subsided. What should I take into account before using this feature?
Post in meta and start a discussion. I do not think that we have a pattern for unprotecting, so we would have to look at it on a case-by-case basis or start thinking about a pattern.
In general, if it looks like it was a Hot Question and attracted low-quality answers, but that rush is over, then it might be a good candidate for removing protection.