WASHINGTON, D.C.— Anuraag ‘Raag’ Singhal, 56,was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last month before it adjourned for its Christmas recess, making him South Florida’s first Asian American federal judge.
On Dec. 18, 2019, the Senate invoked cloture on his nomination by a vote of 76-18, and the next day, his nomination was confirmed by a vote of 76-17, and on Dec. 20, Singhal — a widely respected Broward County circuit court judge -- received his federal judicial commission.
In a text message, Singhal expressed his gratitude to both the U.S. Senators from Florida, Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, who had strongly recommended his name to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky), who in turned had urged President Donald Trump to nominate him, and then pushed his nomination through.
“I’m just truly grateful to Senator Scott and Senator Rubio and President Trump for the privilege of becoming a federal judge,” Singhal said in his text message, declaring, “It is something I never dreamed of, yet it’s a dream come true.”
Seven senators did not vote while all of the “no” votes came from Democrats, who have consistently voted against Trump’s judicial nominees but have not been able to stop the Republican majority from pushing these nominations through.
Singhal is a member of the Federalist Society, which fiercely advocates conservative legal theories and limited government, and before becoming a circuit court judge, was a leading member and activist in the Broward Republican Party.
An erstwhile assistant state attorney and a criminal defense lawyer, in 2011, then Gov. Scott appointed him as a circuit court judge, and in 2014, he won a full six-year term when no candidate came forward to run against him for the seat.
As a U.S. District Court judge, Singhal’s appointment is a lifetime tenure and will assume his new role in early January and rule on federal criminal and civil cases.
Rubio, who had submitted a statement for the record at Singhal’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 11, 2019, hailed the full Senate’s confirmation of his nomination, saying that “today’s confirmation of Judge Singhal is further proof that that the Senate is committed to filling judicial vacancies with President Trump’s well-qualified nominees.”
“Judge Singhal has lived and worked in Florida for 30 years, and he has extensive experience in the courtroom as both an attorney and a judge,” Rubio said, and added, “He is committed to honoring professionalism, honesty, integrity, and ethics in his work and in the community, and I am confident he will exhibit and exercise those qualities on the federal bench.”