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And the 'designated survivor' is...

The designated survivor for Tuesday’s State of the Union address will be Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

For security reasons, one member of the president’s cabinet is chosen every year to sit out the speech in case of a disaster that wipes out the government’s leaders.

Since 2003, two members of each house of Congress have also been absent.   

It’s something of a parlor game in Washington to guess which cabinet official will be whisked away to an undisclosed location before the president utters the words “my fellow Americans.”

Last year’s designated survivor was Moniz’s predecessor at the Department of Energy, Steven Chu.

Moniz was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prior to his appointment to the job by President Barack Obama. 

Three Supreme Court justices will also not be in attendance.

Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan are expected to sit in the chamber for the speech. Roberts has attended every State of the Union address since he was appointed in 2005.

But, as was the case last year, Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito will not be there.

Alito generated headlines in 2010 when President Barack Obama criticized the court's decision in the Citizens United case. Alito was seen mouthing the words "not true."

He hasn't been back since.

This will be the 17th consecutive year that Justice Scalia has stayed away from the big event.

Last year, he was quoted during a panel discussion saying the annual speech “has turned into a childish spectacle.”

“I don't want to be there to lend dignity to it,” he said.

NBC's Mike Kosnar contributed to this report.