Rodney Smith is an initiate of the Kappa Delta chapter at Florida A&M University and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Smith is a Life Member and was Membership Vice President Founding Alumni in 2004. Smith was an eagle scout and has an extensive scouting career and has on the South Florida for many years. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi. Smith received a Bachelor of Science from Florida A&M University in 1996, cum laude. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1999 from Michigan State University, also cum laude. Smith served as an Assistant County Attorney for the Miami-Dade County's Attorney's office from 1999 to 2003. He then was in private practice from 2003 to 2007. From 2007 to 2008, he served as a Senior Assistant City Attorney for the city of Miami Beach. Governor Charlie Crist appointed him in 2008 to preside as a judge of the Miami-Dade County Court, where he served until 2012. Governor Rick Scott appointed him to the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in 2012, where he served until his elevation to the federal bench in 2019.
Smith was mentioned as a potential judicial nominee in February 2018. On April 26, 2018, Trump announced his intent to nominate Smith to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. On May 7, 2018, his nomination was sent to the Senate. He was nominated to the seat vacated by Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, who was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on June 2, 2014. On October 17, 2018, a hearing on his nomination was held before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
On January 3, 2019, his nomination was returned to the President under Rule XXXI, Paragraph 6 of the United States Senate. On January 23, 2019, Trump announced his intent to renominate Smith for a federal judgeship. His nomination was sent to the Senate later that day. On February 7, 2019, his nomination was reported out of committee by a 17–5 vote. On June 11, 2019, the Senate voted 77–19 to invoke cloture on his nomination. On June 12, 2019, his nomination was confirmed by a vote of 78–18. He received his judicial commission on June 14, 2019.