Nairobi The most vocal criticism of Dr Willy Mutunga, the current appointee to the position of Chief Justice, is that he spots an ear stud, is in the midst of a second divorce, and is a supporter of gay rights. The deep seated fear the conservatives feel runs much deeper than his ear stud, for even if he were to consign it to a drawer in his house, never to be retrieved, that would not shed his core liberal leanings. And it is the liberal or conservative stance of the highest court in the land that will determine the interpretation of the most controversial clauses in the Constitution such as abortion, and the protection of individual rights of all Kenyans, including gay rights. The criticism on one hand and support on the other for Dr Mutungas appointment as Chief Justice speaks volumes about the opening up of Kenyas democratic space to allow for a diversity of voices to be heard. This is what our new Constitution has at its core, and it would be foolhardy to suggest that these opinions should not be voiced. That said, the selection of the individual who will be at the rudder of judicial reform is neither a political nor a religious matter and with good reason the judiciary must remain separate and independent from the other two branches of government as well as from the Church.