Judge Timothy Frawley's preliminary ruling was that ballot title and summary, prepared by Attorney General Xavier Beccera, was misleading because it wasn't clear that the measure would repeal the 12-cent a gallon tax that goes into effect November 1. Some of the wording uses the term "revenue" instead of taxes.
Becerra was appointed by Brown and was a former member of Congress.
Judge Frawley said Friday he wasn't inclined to change his mind after oral arguments by Allen's attorney and those representing Beccera.
The lawsuit was filed by Orange County Assembly member Travis Allen, who must use the official description to gather signatures to overturn the road tax bill. If enough signatures are gathered, the repeal measure would go on the November 2018 ballot.
Allen is also a candidate for governor.