Questions presented: using "whether"
I had thought that the use of the word whether to begin an issue statement or question presented was dying out. I was wrong. According to research in an article by Brady Coleman and others, the trend from 1975 to 2002 is a 10% increase in the use of whether to begin a question presented in U.S. Supreme Court briefs.
Odd. I had hoped the trend was in the opposite direction. It should be.
Maybe the practice in state courts is different--not as stodgy and outdated--and the practice in the U.S. Supreme Court is behind the times.
The office of the solicitor general uses whether 94% of the time, so maybe that office is perpetuating this tired tradition.
Brady Coleman, et al, Grammatical and Structural Choices in Issue Framing: A Quantitative Analysis of "Questions Presented" from a Half Century of Supreme Court Briefs, Am. J. Trial. Adv. 329 (Fall 2005).