I would choose the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th amendments.
- I think this is a pretty standard element of the bill of rights (first ten amendments)that needs to be explicitly stated. You are entitled to religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. It is also one of the most developed and widely interpreted of the bill of rights, so that being the case, the necessity dictates the incorporation.
- The provision against unlawful search and seizures. If anything, this is an affirmation of the rights to possession and even ownership. It also presupposes our legal framework following in the 5th amendment.
- Right to trial by grand jury (of peers), double jeopardy, self incrimination, and due process. I think most everyone would agree the importance of a legal framework and the presumption of due process. You could not have the seventh amendment (oddly popular on this thread) without the 5th amendment in place to stabilize and further legitimize it.
- Basically, this amendment asserts, or more specifically limits congress to a set state of enumerated powers (those laid down in the constitution and not implied in the result of a given absence). In the actual constitution, there is a "necessary and proper clause" which in some respects could give congress the right to basically trample on the rights of the people. So think of this is some respects as an amendment to affirm the fact that amendments are amendments. Incidentally, this amendment is also a two-for-one (a twofur?), because it necessarily implies the tenth amendment wherein powers are reserved to the states or the people not otherwise attributed to the federal government.
14th amendment -