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Published: Thursday, 10/21/2004

Skow for appeals court

WHEN it comes to putting a new judge on northwest Ohio's Sixth District Court of Appeals, voters should be able to choose a candidate who has both the skill and temperament to interpret the law fairly and impartially for Ohio's common pleas, county, and municipal courts.

In the Nov. 2 election, citizens of Lucas and seven other area counties have such a choice in the person of Judge William J. Skow, who we believe should be elevated to the appellate court.

Judge Skow, who has sat for 19 years on the Lucas County Common Pleas Court bench and for three years before that in Toledo Municipal Court, has a strong reputation for legal scholarship and expositive skills that are crucial on the appeals court.

We appreciate the depth and breadth of his legal mind, which gives him the potential to excel in the deliberative milieu of the appeals court. When you ask him which judicial figures he would emulate, he cites the legendary Learned Hand, the most famous federal appellate judge never to make the U.S. Supreme Court.

As such, Judge Skow, a Democrat, is a better choice to advance to the appeals court than his opponent, Robert Christiansen, also a veteran of two decades on the Lucas County bench. Judge Christiansen, a Republican, has tried to position himself as a law-and-order judge, but when it comes to scholarship and writing ability, he cannot match Judge Skow's qualifications.

Nonetheless, our support of Judge Skow is not unqualified. He has a reputation among local lawyers for being painfully slow to decide some matters that come before his court. Judge Christiansen, in comparison, points out that no items on his docket are older than about three years. Judge Skow cannot make that claim.

We appreciate the care and deliberation which Judge Skow exercises in his decisions, but there is a point at which justice delayed can become justice denied.

Despite that qualification, we believe Judge Skow is the better choice for a six-year term on the Sixth District Court of Appeals.

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