Senator Franken, at Center Stage, Presides Over Sotomayor Vote

Not bad for the Senate's most junior member. 

Al Franken, D-Minn., who was sworn into office less than a month ago, got to preside over the history-making confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on Thursday. 

Spokeswoman Jess McIntosh said it was just a coincidence, and that it just so happened Franken's name was "up in the rotation" to preside. She said Franken was told he'd likely preside over the vote Wednesday night and found out for sure Thursday morning. 

"He was absolutely thrilled to be able to do it. He was really proud to," she said. 

It was just the latest moment in the Washington sun for the freshman senator and former comedian. Franken entered Congress last month just as senators were set to take up Sotomayor's nomination. With a seat on the Judiciary Committee, Franken was thrust into one of the most closely watched rituals in Washington. 

On Thursday, he closed that ritual out as he presided over the 68-31 vote, which made Sotomayor the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.