There may be a Republican primary contest in New York after all. A federal judge has struck down GOP rules for New York's presidential primary on the ground that they set unfair barriers to would-be candidates. (To reach the ballot, each must collect tens of thousands of signatures from registered Republicans in all 31 state districts.) Under the order by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman, the Party must allow candidates on the Republican ballot if they collect 1.41 percent from each district (about 150 signatures), more in line with the Democrats' requirements. TIME's Laurence Barrett says Korman's decision is both commonsensical and democratic: "These rules are some of the most egregious examples of insiders striving to keep outsiders off the ballot. If the ruling holds, it certainly could make the primary more competitive, although depending on what happens in Iowa and New Hampshire, the nomination could be sewn up by then." Many Republican candidates have complained bitterly that current rules are a cynical throwback to machine politics, making it all but impossible to get on the ballot without the support of the state's Republican organization. That apparatus is led by New York's Sen. Al D'Amato and Gov. George Pataki, both of whom back Bob Dole.