but there's nothing even close to a ban
The Supreme Court of the United States disagrees with you.
No it doesn't:
The Supreme Court ruled that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, if such tests disparately impact ethnic minority groups, businesses must demonstrate that such tests are "reasonably related" to the job for which the test is required.
You can test people as long as it is "reasonably related" to the job and isn't done in a way that artificially discriminates against a protected class. Difficult, but not a ban.
so then it is indeed close to a ban.
No, it really isn't. I have been learning about this recently as part of MBA classes. All you have to do is look at your current workforce and find some common attributes among your top workers for job X. Maybe your top 5 sales guys all have above-average empathy (just one example, it could be anything). This is your basis for any legal defense later.
You then apply an aptitude test to your hiring process and reject anyone with inferior empathy. You don't need to even consider if this discriminates against a protected class. It is quite possible this DOES discriminate against men since women are usually known to be more empathetic. That doesn't matter though. All that matters is if you can demonstrate that empathy has something to do with a salesperson's success. Since you did your homework up front by looking at success and finding common attributes, anyone who challenges your process is going to lose. It is not close to a ban at all, just a legal provision that tells you what you were supposed to be doing anyway- find a good predictor of good job performance, then (and only then) find a test which tests that predictor.