One day a few months ago Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was in the ladies room just off the Senate floor when in walked Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“This was before she was confirmed as our justice,” Gillibrand recalled. “And I was so excited to meet her I said, ‘oh Judge Sotomayor it’s such an honor and a privilege.”

Sotomayor was equally pleased at running into a fellow New Yorker in the Senate ladies room.

“Oh Kirsten, I’ve been so interested to meet you,” came the judge’s reply.

Sotomayor then turned to Gillibrand and said, “Look at us, the power meetings are now happening in the ladies room.”

Gillibrand recounted the story at the 25th anniversary luncheon for EMILY’s List Thursday at the Hilton Washington. The crowd of prominent female candidates and politicians roared with laughter.

The freshman senator from New York gave a joint address with Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who was the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate in her own right.

Mikulski joked that when she came to the upper chamber in 1987, there wasn’t a ladies room. “We’ve come a long way,” she said.