What the intent was is actually completely irrelevant in any law. The courts do not decide on intent.
That's not always the case. Where the law has a clear and obvious meaning, legislative intent does not enter into the discussion. However, when there is ambiguity, courts may turn to legislative intent to get an idea of what the law should mean. In Johnson v. United States, 529 U.S. 694, 723 (2000), the majority (six justices) opinion and one of two concurring opinions held that because a plain reading of the law resulted in an absurdity, the intent of Congress in passing the law must be examined. Thomas concurred in the result but disagreed with the need to use legislative intent, and Scalia disagreed with using legislative intent and with the Court's choice of definitions.
This has become less common in the last few decades, as discussed in this William and Mary Law Review article but it's still around at various levels. In general, the more conservative the judge or justice, the less likely they are to rely on legislative intent, while more liberal judges and justices are more likely to rely on it. However, use of it has decreased across the spectrum.