The Pennsylvania State Police, one of the nation's largest forces, is faced with ending the physical fitness tests it gives to applicants for state trooper positions or defending in court a practice that the federal government says illegally discriminates against women, the Associated Press reports.

The Justice Department's 10-page lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Harrisburg. A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania State Police said Tuesday evening that the agency's lawyers had not seen the lawsuit yet and could not comment on it.

The lawsuit said the use of the tests to screen and select the applicants for the entry-level positions amounted to a pattern of employment discrimination. Much greater percentages of male applicants than female applicants passed the physical fitness tests going back to 2003, it said.

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