Source: The Betrayed Profession (1994), p. 238 Middle.
Judge Learned Hand was certainly right when he evoked the commandment "Thou shalt not ration justice"; but it is not quite that easy. The relationship between law and justice is complex. Hand's contemporary Benjamin Cardozo noted: "[W]hen we use the word justice the quality we most frequently have in mind is charity." Hand himself, speculating on the lawyer's contribution, said, "I wonder whether the best mood or habit is not that, forgetting for the time our job as lawyers, we should think of human beings as a whole, we should look at life sub specie aeternitatis and yet believe that all specific choices may be momentous." Justice, moreover, is not immutable; it changes with time. "Laws and institutions," Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter in 1816, "must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more devel- oped, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." 10 Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., in one of his devil's advocate moments, said that law was the governance Of the living by the dead. 1
What's the emboldened quotation's source? Google yielded nothing.
What did Hand intend to say? What is meant by 'whether the best mood or habit is not that'? 'specific choices'? 'Momentous'?