Back in April, I brought you the saga of a free-speech battle over the screening of sexual material at the University of Maryland. Now that story has another chapter.

This spring, the producers of a big budget porn flick were drumming up publicity by offering their film free for campus screenings, and the student programming board at UM announced plans to take them up on their offer. When word got out, conservatives in the state legislature gave the PR campaign a huge boost by threatening to cut the university’s budget if the movie was shown, and administrators banned the film from campus.

At that point a local campus group called the Student Power Party defied the ban and screened the film on campus … sort of. (They showed the first half hour of the movie, then got bored, turned it off, and talked about freedom of expression for a while.) The legislature backed down from their threat to cut funding to the university immediately, but directed UM’s regents to come up with a policy regulating “the displaying or screening of obscene films and materials” on campus. They gave them a deadline of December 1.

Which is this Tuesday.

As late as last month, the regents were widely expected to comply with the legislature’s order, even going so far as to write up a draft policy, but two weeks ago they announced that they would not be adopting it.

No other state university system in the nation regulates the display of sexually explicit material on campus, and any effort to do so would be certain to face strong constitutional challenges. The regents also concluded that adopting such a policy would “place undue financial and administrative burdens on the system’s campuses,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

It remains unclear whether legislators will punish UM for their defiance, as they had threatened to do, but at least a few are likely to try — State Senator Andy Harris, who was the engine behind the policy in the spring, is running for Congress.