I recently came across the concept of a pro forma congressional session, where a single lawmaker will open the session, wait a minute, then close the session. Apparently, this tactic has been used by both sides in the past to avoid officially recessing.
However, while I can see how the majority party could choose to do this, I fail to see how a minority party can do this without the tacit approval of the chamber's leader.
For example, during the pro forma session which led to these recess appointments, the Democrats were in control of the Senate. Couldn't Senator Reid have recessed to prevent the Republicans from having the pro forma sessions to keep the Senate in session? And assuming he didn't, could another Senator have forced a recess by suggesting the lack of a quorum and triggering a quorum call? Or would that simply have forced an adjournment, which would still accomplish the purpose of being "in session" for the next few days?