Bob Dole Opposed Challenge to Recess Appointments?

March 13th, 2013

In Charlie Savage’s story about the administration’s decision to appeal the NLRB recess appointment case to SCOTUS, there is this interesting bit about the history of the recess battles in the Senate:

In 1993, after President George Bush made a recess appointment just before leaving office, the Senate legal counsel developed a lengthy friend-of-the-court brief for a legal challenge to the appointment, arguing that it was invalid because it did not come between sessions.

The Senate majority leader at the time, George Mitchell, Democrat of Maine, wanted to file the brief in the lawsuit on behalf of the Senate, but the Republican minority leader, Bob Dole of Kansas, blocked him from doing so. The case was later resolved on different grounds.

How does the minority party block the Senate counsel from issuing a brief? Doesn’t the Senate counsel act at the behest of the┬ámajority┬áparty? Anyone know?